Darrin James gets funky on his new single “Bombs Away,” a retro 70s soundscape. Bombs away, big mistake, he sings. These words are both simplistic and complex. They are simple because they don’t address anything other than a judgment on the action. Complex because they open up a porthole for deeper thought. Why is it a mistake?
This preoccupation might seem like splitting hair; nevertheless, a divide that mankind finds oneself dealing with over and over as Darrin James reminds us of Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Adolf Hitler, Saddam Hussein, etc.
If you are a lover of the genre Afrobeat, you might assess this track based on how close it comes to the formula: a combination of jazz, funk, political chants merged with percussion. If you are not a lover or even familiar with this style, you might respond to it from its shell: the beat that makes your body move. However, Darrin James could have served himself better had he used the chorus hook as the main course of the song rather than an appetizer. Either way, you cannot ignore the political message.
Was this political message the impetus for creating “Bombs Away”?
As a sidebar, it may seem like an oxymoron, but war seems to be a precursor to peace. For the compacts, constitutions, treaties, and alliances produced after a war indicates the desire for peace. So this would assume that peace is the goal. But then again, why even start warring on each other in the first place? Most would agree that war starts off with the rationale that combat is in our best interest. It’s only when we become fatigued by it that we turn to an end—bombs away until we get too weary.
Then again, was “Bombs Away” an effort on Darrin James’ part to revive a sound that has been on the shelf for awhile?
“Bombs Away” is a six and a half minute track that states a narrative addressing the negative components of war. It then enters into a chant that is complemented by a horn section, followed by a second verse which mimics the same formula. The track does have a catchy rhythm that will make you move. And it’s very possible that some listeners will have an affinity with the message, and others will question Darrin’s thoughts on war.
Perhaps they may even feel that Darrin James made a mistake creating such a long song that failed to bring the Afrobeat into the 21st Century. The track is so lengthy it cries out for lyrics and musical arrangements that will give the listener a reason to stick around for the whole ride.
You can listen to Darrin James’ “Bombs Away” here.