Savage Garden's flowering love songs take root
November 15, 1999
By Donna Freydkin
(CNN) -- "A big section of our audience is young and female," says Savage Garden singer-songwriter Darren Hayes. "Housewives like our love songs, but then again, everyone likes to dream about love."
That's the premise behind Savage Garden's tender ballads, almost tailor-made for dancing cheek-to-cheek at proms and weddings.
Just as the rap-metal of Kid Rock and his ilk seems to have edged out kiss rock (notable exceptions being veterans such as Mariah Carey and Shania Twain), the two Australian crooners in Savage Garden make their pass at the charts with gentle grown-up love songs.
"I think in some way, there aren't a lot of people making pop music with sincerity," says Hayes. "We offer a slight alternative to that -- for people not getting the 'N Sync vibe. We have simple, honest music and a little something for everyone."
That "little something" bubbles up in frothy love potions "Truly Madly Deeply" and "To The Moon & Back" (from the band's debut) -- tunes Hayes describes as "beautifully sad sometimes." Now, after selling some 10 million copies of their 1997 self-titled debut worldwide, these minstrels have returned this month with "Affirmation," an album Hayes calls "a soundtrack to your life."
"I wanted to make an album that was painfully honest, like (Bruce) Springsteen's 'Tunnel of Love,'" says Hayes. "I wanted to listen to the album and say, 'That sums up the year.' Lyrically, this album was born out of a year spent in New York, where I was processing the last album and the whole crazy ride.
"It's quite autobiographical. It talks about relationships. The last record was naïve because we were. At that point, we would have done anything to succeed. And it's easy to get distracted and surround yourself with toys. But I wanted to get back to a sense of normality. I needed that sense of reality."
So Hayes holed up in a Big Apple apartment, where he relished doing the stuff the rest of us abhor -- laundry, grocery shopping, hailing cabs. Along the way, he and bandmate Daniel Jones penned the songs that would appear on "Affirmation." And to cover all their bases, they teamed up with producer Walter Afanasieff, who's worked with Ricky Martin, Celine Dion and Mariah Carey.
The first single, "I Knew I Loved You," follows in the footsteps of its dreamy predecessors:
I think I've found my best friend
As far his ensemble's life goes, Hayes says it's all still a dream. He freely admits that he and Jones unsuccessfully sent out hundreds of demo tapes in their homeland before being signed by Columbia/Sony.
"We got notably rejected by every major record company," he says. "Ironically, we were rejected by a local Sony label. Now, the guy who rejected me swears he never saw the album."
Of course, that made his band's arrival all the sweeter. Even talk-show host Rosie O'Donnell is a fan. But in typical low-key Hayes fashion, the singer plays down Savage Garden's achievements. "I was in Australia when I was called and told truly that 'Truly Madly Deeply' had hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. That was pretty amazing.
"Now, we have the keys to our hometown of Brisbane. That's very useful when friends lock themselves out of the house."
WorldBeat Fresh Cuts review: Savage Garden's 'Affirmation'
MORE MUSIC NEWS:
Mick doesn't want world to know what he makes
|Back to the top||
© 2001 Cable News Network. All Rights Reserved.|
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines.