Darwin Hobbs : Everyday

Chunky crooner Hobbs does his best Luther Vandross impression to little effect...

He stares out from the album cover like he’s got designs on your lunch. On the back, he dabs his temple with a hankie as though the intervening gorge-fest as quite exhausted him. And the comparisons with Luther Vandross don’t end there either!

Hobbs throws down the gauntlet straightaway with a cover of Luther’s ‘So Amazing’ which has you arching your brow going “is it, isn’t it?” from the off. Hobbs would walk Stars In Their Eyes with this. From the timbre of his voice to the arrangement, it’s the mid ’80s all over again. He quite simply is Luther.

The trick is repeated with ‘When I Look Up’. Donna Summer’s vocal contribution immediately puts you in the soul tardis and you’re back in the late ’70s. Except she’s not raunching about “bad boys” this time, she’s trilling alongside Darwin about good boys. The best behaved of all boys in fact: Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ!

And that’s both the good and bad thing about ‘Everyday’. Hobbs is obviously a vocal talent but the blandness and repetitiveness of material and theme soon make you want to run out of the house screaming, with the breaking of all ten commandments very much on your mind.

‘You’re The One’ is the low point. Apparently recorded in some kind of cupboard, Hobbs brings that meaty

voice to bear on the subject of Him once again. “With you I can defeat and

conquer each foe / Without you I am a disaster from head to toe”. You kind of already get the idea he was quite devoted with the six preceding work-outs

in which he prostrates himself on the studio floor and proclaims his own

unworthiness thank you very much.

Songs about faith and devotion work when they are about struggle, i.e. in

the hands of Marvin or Prince. When you feel they may lapse and shag your sister and then be” really sorry and unburden their tormented soul. But even with the help of Donna Summer, a couple of Winans and Michael McDonald, the level intensity of his faith and the undoubted power of his voice add up to curiously little. Hobbs needs a challenge, something to goad him into fireworks. How ’bout an album about Charles Darwin?

Michael Odell