Remember when multi-faceted artist Darren Criss collaborated with Steve Aoki on a cover of the Dave Matthews Band track “Crash Into Me“? What an electrifying re-imagining that was! Since linking up with Steve, his creative energy next went into putting together the musical comedy web series “Royalties“. To be quite honest, Darren always has some project or other on the go, be it acting, singing (stage or screen) or songwriting. He is back releasing his own music, again. The five-track “Masquerade” EP is out now. I was prompted to check out the release, which popped up as a suggestion on my social media. I very much liked what I heard. Funky pop-rock. Emotive pop. Quirky pop. Pure pop. Pop anthem. Five different shades of pop. Each in their own way, a bop. I am glad I went with my gut feeling and spent some time listening to this.

“Acting and music are, at their core, the same to me. It’s all about identifying an idea and somehow transforming it into an experience by way of breathing life into a specific masque. As an actor, I’ve always sought to be consistently inconsistent with the masques I put on, and so I seek to follow suit with the music I make.”

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“In the same way, a “role” can be different from story to story, each piece of music should be treated like a different “part” in a different play. “Masquerade” is a small collection of the variety of musical masques that have always inspired me. They might not always sound or feel the same, but they are inevitably and undeniably me behind each masque. And that’s the kind of eclecticism that not only makes for a successful masquerade ball- but what makes me, me.”

Darren shared in a statement over social media.

Masquerade” is a cool concept. That lends itself, especially, well to a small body of work, such as an EP. It is a release high on entertainment value where the grooves are plentiful. There is much going on in the five tracks to get you vibing along. Moreover, jams “fxkn around“, “let’s“, and “for a night like this” will uplift and shine a positive light on however you are feeling. I do like, a good celebration/party song so, the track “for a night like this” has the edge for me. The lyrics hit the nail on the head.

“Been a long, long year. We made it through. Wouldn’t be here now if not for you. And we’ve come so far, it’s safe to say. Baby, we deserve to celebrate”.

There is nothing complicated to the “Masquerade” EP, it’s just timeless pop done well. Five great tracks each, one addicting.

The EP “Masquerade” is a great listen, check it out HERE

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