6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars
Brighter?, 16 Sep 2002
If you have read any of the reviews for this album elsewhere on the internet or in the music press, you will have seen they bear more resemblance to an advert for washing powder than a typical review of a Death in Vegas album. Critics have been rattling on about how this album is so much "brighter" and "less dirty" than previous Death in Vegas material. Anyone who enjoyed "The Contino sessions" like myself will have also been recoiling at the prospect of "Scorpio Rising" being a collection of "Psychedelic love songs" as one half of the duo behind DIV described their latest offering.
Fears of a soft soap approach on this album could have been heightened further on hearing the news that among the guest vocalists handpicked to make a cameo was the cashmere soft voiced Hope Sandoval, the lead singer of Mazzy Star – great voice but on a DIV record? The news that the nonchalant but irresistible wailing of Bobby Gillespie, which added grit to "the Contino Sessions" was to be replaced on this album by the more middle of the road tones of your dad's favourite - Paul Weller would have done little to abate this fear.
Fact is, from the outset this is a great album and has all the hallmarks of a Death in Vegas album – slow burning, grinding guitars, thumping bass lines, chilling song titles and so forth. The raw edgy guitar sound is punctuated perfectly by the delicate but breathy vocals of Hope Sandoval, Dot Alison and Nicola Kuperous from “Adult” as well as the Indian violin of Dr Subramanium. The dark and dirty undertones are always prevalent though - after all songs entitled “hands around my throat” and “killing Smile” are unlikely to be cheerful ditties.
Bobby Gillespie may have been transfer-listed but the vocals of this album’s big name loan player, Liam Gallagher, on the title track are his finest since the “Definitely Maybe” era. His older brother would be well advised to listen to this album to get some pointers on how baby bro.’s voice should be best employed.
This album only dropped a star because of the annoyingly tame and squeaky-clean track “So you say you lost your baby” featuring Paul Weller.