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POP MUSIC | POP EYE

Terence Redux

January 25, 1998|Steve Hochman

One of the big mysteries of recent pop history is the career of Terence Trent D'Arby, a hugely talented and touted--often by himself--musician who at one point was projected to follow in the footsteps of Prince to mega-stardom. Instead, he followed a hit 1987 debut album with three artistically ambitious but commercially negligible albums.

Now, once again, he's coming back, having left Columbia Records and signed with Java, the Capitol-distributed label owned by Glen Ballard, the writer-producer best known for his work with Alanis Morissette. D'Arby is currently at work on an album that he hopes to have out in late spring.

Most intriguing on the new project is the possibility of collaborations between D'Arby, normally a one-man show in the studio, and Ballard, whose keen pop sense might help focus D'Arby's talents. The two teamed on one track that had been intended for the "Spawn" soundtrack but was rejected. For D'Arby, though, the key to the new album is his own enthusiasm.

"I have a very real sense that this new beginning is exactly what I need," D'Arby says. "If I were honest, there were things I did at least on a subtle level to sabotage [his last albums]. I always say that at some times you can lose perspective. The fact that you can even make a record and leave a document that you were here, that's nothing to sneeze at."

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