I'd consider myself a huge Darren fan, Tension is one of my favourite albums of all time and I've generally enjoyed everything until this era. Although I'm super happy that he's released something that he's obviously very proud of, I'm disappointed that I feel so empty after my first full listen.
Some of the tracks are way too long with little to differentiate from each other, about halfway through each track I'm checking out how much time is left. Some of the production is interesting but it's lost amongst indulgent track lengths and questionable vocal choices, by the time some of songs finish I can barely remember the production flourishes I did enjoy.
Some of the songwriting makes me cringe too, "1990s no cell phones, if you wanted to meet someone you had to leave your home. We can dance or we can fuck" feels clunky and that's not really something I've ever associated with Darren's songwriting before.
Hey Matt is the track that grabbed my attention the most (I can hear Darkness similarities), I also enjoyed A Little Death and Euphoric Equation too. Maybe I need to live with it and invest some more time and perhaps witnessing them live will also help, but there's no getting away from the fact that one of my favourite artists has released a collection of songs that has left me underwhelmed.