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Siouxsie – “Mantaray” – [Decca]

mantaray

After much deliberation and rending of garments I have concluded that yes, we will be adding this 2007 solo effort from the Queen of Goth Herself. Her first outing without the Banshees, co-written with a brace of no-name session musicians, is fully and unabashedly pop; those expecting a remotely gothic sonic palette will be disappointed. Reference points seem to include glam rock, ’90s Britpop, and (at least on t.s 3+6) ’60s R&B. Some of the arrangements are trite (t.2 has a Franz Ferdinand sound that hasn’t aged well, t.5 is a soppy ballad with too much going on) and pretty much all are overproduced, but the music is mostly adequate to carry Her singing, which is why you showed up anyway. No one else has This Voice, and here She is still nearly as strident as on ‘The Scream,’ and, if not as tormented, absolutely as commanding. She sells this so hard, making a mere footnote out of Her band’s occasional lack of invention, and Her lyrics (on love, doubt, loneliness, boredom and personal triumph) are mostly quite good. I didn’t like this very much the first time I heard it, but with a few more listens I realized there’s something very special going on throughout much of it. In addition to the two R&B-influenced songs, special note should be made of t.1′s bombastic liberation anthem, t.7′s psychotic jazz ennui, t.8′s Lee Hazlewood sweep and t.10– Oh t.10– where She gets Her Stevie Nicks on and skewers love… beautifully and finely. Lick Her Majesty’s boots, thou scum.

  • Reviewed by Lord Gravestench on July 9, 2013 at 12:38 am
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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