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Darkness One Way Ticket To Hell And Back
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  • On the Darkness's second full-length album, ONE WAY TICKET TO HELL... AND BACK, frontman Justin Hawkins brings back his trademark unitard and Wagnerian falsetto for another delicious pop-metal outing. Although the melodies aren't as immediately appealing as on PERMISSION TO LAND, the disc still boasts its share of air-guitar anthems, particularly the hard-rocking "Is It Just Me?" And while the six-string playing of Hawkins and his brother, Dan, still carries the record, the Darkness unleashes its inner Jethro Tull with a wider instrumental palette that includes sitar, pan flute, bagpipes, and an entire orchestra, making for a considerably fuller sound. Of course, as on PERMISSION, Hawkins's soaring falsetto is the British group's calling card, and it's displayed to great effect on the Slade-like "Hazel Eyes" and "English Country Garden," which recalls Queen at their most stately. Though this album can't quite top its bold, brash predecessor, it reveals the broad range of the Darkness's charms, making it a worthy companion piece to that lauded debut.
Professional Reviews
Spin (p.104) - "Justin attacks his vowels like a velvet ninja while Dan turns decades of guitar decadence, from Mick Ronson to Mick Mars, into his own special thing." -- Grade: A-

Spin (p.62) - Ranked #23 in Spin's "40 Best Albums Of 2005" - "[I]t's a triumph of grandiosity. By turns gorgeous and anvil heavy, it also establishes Hawkins as a lyricist of the first order."

Mojo (Publisher) (p.98) - 3 stars out of 5 - "[T]he Darkness joke remains as buoyant as Justin Hawkins' falsetto. They're a group that believes in a thing called love. Happily, however, they don't believe in a thing called restraint."
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