Declaration | Divine Design

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Electronic: Synthpop Pop: Synth Pop Moods: Christian
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Divine Design

by Declaration

Riveting synthpop that will truly captivate you, with stellar vocals, enduring melodies, complex arrangements, top-notch production, and a Christian message.
Genre: Electronic: Synthpop
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. When Push Comes to Shove
3:45 $0.99
2. Book of Love
4:40 $0.99
3. High Reality
4:58 $0.99
4. Center of It All
5:42 $0.99
5. Welcome Home
4:31 $0.99
6. Declaration
4:57 $0.99
7. Factory
4:06 $0.99
8. Based on a True Story
4:46 $0.99
9. I Loved You
4:19 $0.99
10. When Push Comes to Shove (Coliseum Mix)
5:33 $0.99
11. Factory (Mechanical Heart Mix)
4:30 $0.99
12. Declaration (Reprise)
1:06 $0.29
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes


Following the rave reviews of the teaser debut EP "Digital Exposure" comes the highly anticipated first full-length CD from Declaration, "Divine Design". It includes all five of the spectacular tracks from the EP, plus five new stunning songs, one new dance remix, and a heavenly reprise.

Declaration further demonstrates their electronic diversity by introducing brighter selections to balance the darker feel of "Digital Exposure". Although the new songs might be lighter in feel, they are unmistakable heavyweights in their catchiness, production, vocal performance, and Christian messages. Thomas Hughes' Classical upbringing and influence continue to pervade his work, but the album is glaringly "pop", crafted from a modern synthetic sonic tool chest.

"Divine Design"'s twelve tracks have been divided into three sections, appropriately termed "Acts" (in reference to Hughes' Classical training). The first six songs tackle "Faith, Hope, and Love", the next three songs grapple with "Loss and Betrayal", and the concluding three remixes have been "Shaken and Stirred".

The visual artwork for the album reflects its audio splendor -- a twelve-page colorful booklet of original photography and effects to match the number of CD tracks. As the music has been brilliantly and independently produced, so has the artwork -- no stock photography. Certainly this level of effort in artwork is a rarity for any band's first full-length album -- this is truly art!

Those who laid their hands on "Digital Exposure" could not wait for the release of "Divine Design". If you contemplated buying "Digital Exposure" but decided instead to wait for the album, today is the day you have been waiting for!

Find out more at


Thomas Hughes, founder of Declaration, was born into a family with a rich heritage in classical music and became an accomplished pianist and one of New York State's top cellists by the age of 18. In his college years, his father, a professional operatic voice teacher, guided Thomas when he decided to embrace a more personal expression through vocal performance.

Inevitably, Thomas' passion for composition, fueled by a reverence of the great classical composers, collided with a fascination with technology, causing him to abandon his classical music pursuits and instead embrace a unique electronic expression in Declaration, a means also by which he glorifies the Giver of his talents.


Whether diving into the depths of spiritual waters, expounding on human frailty, or serenading lost or newfound loves, Declaration's music will touch you -- and move you. Take a listen and learn for yourself that "things can be so good"!


Jason Baker, Synthpop Net:

This is the follow-up album to Declaration's "Digital Exposure" debut EP, which was released in early 2003. This album followed the EP in October, and featured all of the tracks from the EP, along with several totally new songs and remixes. This is a very structured album, with three separate acts -- the more spiritually focused songs take up the first six tracks, followed by three tracks that are more typical love songs, then three remixes/alternate versions.

The first two tracks from the EP also open the album, and though they've only received some minor tweaking and adjustment in between the two releases, the songs don't sound old or re-hashed at all, but still just as dynamic and impressive as before. "Factory" and "Based on a True Story" also originate from the EP, as does the "Push" remix, but again, the songs still maintain the freshness and power that they originally did for me, which is an impressive feat.

The new tracks all maintain the high standards I've come to expect from Declaration's music. The more spiritually oriented tracks convey a very strong message of faith without trying to be preachy. They simply convey a message of hope and love. I find them very uplifting. The love songs are simply great synthpop, with "Factory" being an awesome emotional dance anthem, and "Based on a True Story"...a very good synth ballad. "I Loved You" is a great mid-tempo track, and I really liked the piano work that is layered into the song.

Of the new remixes, the Mechanical Heart Mix of "Factory" gives a decidedly electro slant to the song, remolding it into a dance floor stomping (but not overly so) mix that would not be out of place in most clubs. The Reprise of "Declaration" is very atmospheric, with flowing, gentle synths rising and then fading slow, with an almost ambient take on the main melody line of the song.

Overall, I think if you enjoyed the EP "Digital Exposure" at all, you're truly going to love this album. The same heart-felt and dynamic vocals fill each track, and while not all the tracks have the same 'dark' feel that the EP had, the album, even in those brighter moments, doesn't seem excessively effervescent or light. Basically, this is a very good synthpop album not only to merely listen to, but to think and ponder the meanings of the songs within. It works on both levels, which is hard to achieve. Excellent, and well worth the purchase!

Side-Line Magazine:

Declaration itself is the solo project of Thomas Hughes, born into a family with a rich heritage in classical music, and you clearly hear this in the songs that are very well crafted and full of hidden melodies...Declaration brings melodic synthpop with lots of stress on vocal lines...with professionalism.

Really stunning to hear this debut, self-released as well; each track is pure aural pleasure. Advised for sure -- pure synthpop class and an act that should find a contract with the better synthpop labels.

Danny King, The Electrogarden Network:

Divine Design is the debut album from the American artist Declaration. The album itself features 12 tracks, including two remixes and a "Reprise"...divided into three sections, probably more to do with the lyrical content within the tracks themselves. Declaration produces a largely darker brand of Electronic Pop...but with a more melodic and pop orientated feel, while Thomas Hughes has a big, almost booming voice that is well used in a variety of styles to great effect throughout the album...especially evident on the ballad "Based on a True Story".

Like any other album there are a number of tracks here that clearly stand out..., least not the harder sounding "Factory", with seemingly a touch of distortion on the verse vocals, breaking nicely into a very strong chorus; this is very much one track on the album that will grab your attention. Its remix, the "Mechanical Heart Mix" adds a vocoder to the vocals but returns to the full vocals of Hughes for the chorus in this excellent remix...that will be filling up dance floors for some time to come.

Also standing out is the equally impressive "Welcome Home", a strong and steady mid-paced track that builds to a simple chorus, where the vocals stand tall. Another outstanding track is the moody and moving ballad "Based on a True Story", a strong and powerful track that gently sweeps along while adding a touch of rippling piano in the later stages of the track...

Another strong and impressive track that shows both the strength and diversity of the vocals is "I Loved You", a more mid-paced track with a light, almost live feel to it..."When Push Comes To Shove" appeared on the "State of Synthpop" CD box set, which may make it one of the more familiar Declaration tracks to most people. This mid-paced track with a semi-spoken vocal delivery picks up with a strong chorus with vocals to match; the track itself is also featured as a remix, the "Coliseum Mix"...

Also excellent here is "Center of It All", another strong, ballad type track that builds well to a lifting chorus while...displaying the strength and depth of the vocals. "Declaration" is a steady and up-tempo pace, while the addition of its strong chorus turns it into another largely excellent track.

Also strong here is "High Reality", which really builds up pace and takes off in another big chorus with the vocals to match.

I should also mention the impressive design work on the cover, booklet and CD by Blake P. Jabieski, and at that a first time effort.

The present Synth Pop scene continues to see an interesting and varied selection of releases being made, and "Divine Design" is easily among these releases -- high quality dark Electro Pop combined with the sheer strength of its unique vocals, which will clearly not fail to impress on this largely excellent release. Declaration is very much another act that further increases the level of interest in the American Electro Pop / Synth Pop scene.

Todd Durant, A Different Drum:

This synthpop act from New York released an EP about a year ago . . . which introduced their sound. They're also featured on the "State of Synthpop 2003" 5-disc box set. The new album is interestingly divided into three "acts", for a total of 12 tracks (the third act is made up of three remixes). This is melodic, thoughtful synthpop with a more song-oriented approach, instead of just seeking the right drum-machine pattern. There are some religious themes mixed in, which is a nice touch, adding to the overall drama of the album. The vocalist has no fears of singing all over the spectrum, with moments of whispering, all the way to moments of booming, operatic projection.



to write a review


Great vocals. Depeche Mode-style synths. Some heart-moving lyrics.
Love this guy's voice. Has good range, sometimes hitting lows that remind me of Martin Gore's resonant voice. As a Christian, I especially appreciate that this guy writes such Godly lyrics with real retro/new wave-style music, and yet, Mr. Hughes has a sound all his own.

My favorites are When Push Comes to Shove and Welcome Home, but several of the other tracks, like Factory, are also pretty catchy. I have less appreciation for the slower tracks at the end of the CD.


great cd
fantastic voice. loved the cd

Marc Frey

Love it!
Great 80's sound, with a Christian theme. "I loved you" is a beautiful, haunting song.

Henry Davis

Haven't heard this kind of quality synthpop since the glory days of Depeche Mode. Killer album! And a great message to boot. PICK THIS UP!