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Diamond Rings
Special Affections
Secret City Records
www.diamondringsmusic.com


At first sight, it is really easy to label singer-songwriter-guitarist-keyboardist John O' Regan (aka Diamond Rings) as a knock off of '80s icon Boy George, but other than sharing a proclivity for wearing flamboyant makeup similarly to Boy George, the similarities end there. Canadian-born O' Regan has differentiated himself from his electro-pop predecessors. He takes being an artist to the extreme. His latest CD, Special Affections, has a metallic pop shimmer riddled with club beats like Tiesto and floating atmospherics emblematic of '80s harbingers OMD and '90s trendsetters Casey Spooner. With a focus on dance-inspired synth pop, O' Regan unifies the new wave generation of the '80s with the chillwave-bent of 2010.

O' Regan melds a rockabilly style guitar quaver in "Something Else" with electro-pop vibrations that produce a complementing mix of dance grooves and art-pop. He delves into a beach party-tinged calypso rhythm in "All Yr Songs" and changes course slightly with the palpitating beats and trance-rave trimmings cabling "Wait And See". O' Regan's music is a reflection of his theatrical personality, upbeat and focused which comes through in the sparkling flairs that filament "Show Me Your Stuff", which shift to a soothing ballad wreathed in shimmering embers along "On Fire".

At times, O'Regan seems to repeat himself in his songs creating a heavy electro-pop sound thick in club beats that deliver a homogenous breed, but when he fuses other elements like rockabilly, calypso, and orchestral strings into the electro-pop equations, he makes songs that stand out and can be identifiable to him. O' Regan's multi-dexterity is a testament to his vast talent and with time and a fearlessness to explore traits that are innate to his character, his talent can ripen much more.

-Susan Frances

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