8/25/2007

 

Moody Sunday Night Videos

Bat For Lashes: "What's A Girl To Do?" (Parlophone UK) The recipe is delicious: One cup of Goldfrapp, 1/2 cup each of PJ Harvey and Kate Bush, a heaping tablespoon of Cat Power, and a dash of Peggy Lee to taste. Hailing from Brighton, UK, Natasha Kahn records under the nom de plume Bat For Lashes, and her debut album "Fur and Gold" is destined to be a classic, in fact it's already been nominated for England's prestigious Mercury Music Prize. This track is the latest single from the LP and it's sheer pop grandiosity masterfully evokes the sad wonder of lost love. Khan prefers to use genuine instrumentation over synthesized sounds, resulting in an exotic, orchestral backdrop that seems lifted from some dramatic, cinematic 60's girl-group record. The spoken verses recall the detached psychosis of Lee's "Is That All There Is" and the all-cried out vibe of the Shangri-La's "Walking in the Sand." The mood is decidedly dark, but without any cheeseball goth trappings, just classic crocodile tears rolling down the dewy cheek of a forlorn medieval maiden. Bat for Lashes are a truly magnificent proposition.
Annie Lennox: "Dark Road" (Sony) In my book, the Eurythmics are one of the best acts of the '80's and they're not given nearly enough credit for their pop experimentalism and lasting influence. Granted, the reunion a few years back was a bit of a snore, but the original six albums are full of wonderful, well-written and edgy electronic-based pop. Her previous solo records saw her gradually treading toward Adult Contemporary irrelevance. Although it's not exactly cutting edge material, "Dark Road" sees the diva returning at least to an intriguingly listenable place of grace and high drama. If anyone had forgotten what a incredibly divine voice Lennox possesses, here is a not-so-subtle reminder. Her glossolalia ranges from ethereal mist to soul sister, often in the same phrase - she's all over the map here, and it's a pleasure to hear her go to town. Musically, this slow burner teeters between dull and snoozy, but the sheer impact of Lennox's voice and the power of her sentiment render the Glen Ballard produced backdrop fairly unimportant. As gorgeous as this is during certain moments, I fear the entire album will be filled with bombastic ballads like this, all too similar in tone and texture, rendering the whole affair useless and uninteresting. Maybe it's a little shallow, but I really hope she puts at least a couple of fun, upbeat dance tracks on there to remind us of the glory years.

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