Q (12/99, p.144) - 3 stars out of 5 - "...Operating in that nebulous area where pop bliss meets utter naffness, Savage Garden are the Go West of the late-'90s. With a few million more in the bank."
Savage Garden: Darren Haynes (vocals); Daniel Jones (electric guitar, keyboards, synthesizer, programming).
Additional personnel includes: Jeremy Lubbock (conductor); Dean Parks (acoustic guitar); Michael Thompson (electric & baritone guitars); Michael Landau (electric guitar); Walter Afanasieff (piano, keyboards, synthesizer, programming); Greg Bieck (keyboards, synthesizer, programming); Nathan East (bass); Steve Smith (drums); Adam Rossi, Dan Shea (programming).
Engineers include: Kent Matcke, Jay Healy, David Reitzas.
Principally recorded at Wallyworld Studios, Marin County, California from April-July 1999 and Sony Music Studios, New York, New York.
The vocals/keyboards duo Savage Garden (Darren Hayes and Daniel Jones) makes lush, carefully crafted pop that combines unerring melodic sensibilities with a thoughtful, spiritually inclined lyrical approach. A perfect example of Savage Garden's cerebral/visceral dual attack is this album's title track. Over a bouncy, anthemic bed of synthesizers and programmed rhythms, singer Hayes recounts all the things in which he believes (many of which are at odds with media-enforced stereotypes).
No duo is an island, and Jones' considerable keyboard/programming chops are supported by such storied studio vets as bassist Nathan East and guitarist Dean Parks, who contribute ornate touches to Savage Garden's uplifting, sunny pop sound. AFFIRMATION isn't all sweetness and light, though, as evidenced by the darker sentiments of "I Don't Know You Anymore" and "Gunning Down Romance." Ultimately, the album is effectively balanced between penetrating socio-political comment and infectious optimism.