Editor’s Note: The Albumism staff has selected what we believe to be 50 Essential Albums by LGBTQ Artists, representing a varied cross-section of genres, styles and time periods. Considering that the qualifier “LGBTQ” can often be open to various interpretations, for the purposes of this particular list, we have defined an artist as LGBTQ if he, she or they have ever publicly identified as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and/or queer. Moreover, albums by groups have been included in the list if any of their members fit the aforementioned criteria, even if some members do not.
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DARREN HAYES | The Tension and The Spark
Selected by Quentin Harrison
As one-half of Savage Garden, Australian vocalist and musician Darren Hayes drew attention as a world class musician that was erroneously miscast as a teen idol. Once Savage Garden called it quits, Hayes struck out alone with Spin (2002), a smart, cosmopolitan LP that ultimately did not challenge Hayes.
On The Tension and The Spark, Spin’s follow-up, Hayes deconstructed and explored his various emotional states of being. This, of course, led to Hayes unlocking the door to his own sexuality as a gay man in the process. As a result, The Tension and The Spark ended up as a brazen, occasionally dark and sonically eclectic effort that confounded his label Columbia Records who fumbled its promotion. Commercial expectations aside, The Tension and The Spark did make a profound connection with an entire generation of young gay men trying to find their own voices.