4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 16 May 2001
This is Curves Masterpiece album with the most dark lyrics ever (apart from Lush's 'Split' album maybe). 'Already Yours' breaks you in with a rocky riff and catchy chorus leaving you open for the shear genius of 'Horrorhead'; one of Curves best tracks (Checkout the video if you can). Toni's breathing is used to full effect on this track.. where most bands tracks are so over produced that you loose all the human qualities.. Curve have (in a pre-Veruca Salt way) brought them to the forefront.. making this an anxious little number. Then things turn dark... 'Wish you were Dead' and 'Doppelganger' are black little numbers and are quite down beat for Curve.. but marvellous all the same. Then 'Lillies Dying' slams in for what is, for me, Curves best track ever. Toni's floaty voice over a rockin guitar riff once again proving that Curve taught Garbage everything they know. The rest of the album plays out with classic Curve style. 'Fait ..' and 'Split Into Fractions' are simply great tracks in the great Curve singles style. If you wanna get into Curve.. get this album.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 22 July 2008
Curve's finest hour is also the best thing to come out of the early 90s, even if it sounds much later than that. The formula is a wall of sumptuous, urgent pink noise, topped with Toni Halliday's sublime vocals - it could be the soundtrack to the best gritty, ubercool female assassin movie ever. To play the citation game, reference points for triangulating Curve would include Nine Inch Nails, The Jesus and Mary Chain, and My Bloody Valentine's 'Loveless' (and, unavoidably, Garbage, who somehow took the Curve formula to greater success with lesser songs). But Doppelganger is more pop-savvy than its forebears, melding industrial noise with rich shoegazey textures, that voice and, yes, tunes.
The high points are opener Already Yours, Horror Head, the sprawling brilliance of Fait Accompli and Clipped... oh, it's all good. Pride of place, though, is Lillies Dying, in which icy cold lyrics about a failing relationship (?) soar above a cyberpunk soundtrack. Yes, it is the best song ever... and the louder the better.
Doppelganger was Curve's high point -- the preceding EPs are brilliant but not as polished, and the follow-ups were incrementally more generic. Pubic Fruit, Cuckoo and Come Clean are all worth having, but if you're new to Curve then picking up Doppelganger is guaranteed not to disappoint. And the coherence and compactness makes Doppelganger a better place to start than the unfocused patchiness of the "The Way of Curve" collection.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 21 September 2000
A band ahead of it's time and 'Doppleganger', a superlative example of what Curve have to offer, is no exception. Toni Halliday and Dean Garcia were laying down tracks that fuse together rock guitar, sequencers and haunting melodies long before the word Garbage meant money in the bank to anyone except the trashman! Full of powerful lyrics sung to perfection and catchy riffs that just make you want to listen to it over and over again, Doppleganger is the pinnacle work of a band that never received a fraction of the fame and recognition they so richly deserved. Each of these songs just reaches inside you and pours raw emotion into your soul, from the gutsy angst and sheer spite of 'Wish You Dead' through to the confusion and bewilderment of 'Sandpit'. However, I cannot think of a more appropriate way to sum up the whole album than their own words, from the opening track 'Already Yours', Doppleganger is "A gift from God, a small creation, a prized possession without limitations...."
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 16 December 2007
For me the killer track is the first one, "Already Yours". The rest of the album sounds like a variation on the ideas present in this song, with the same basic sound. At the same time, Doppelganger isn't one of those albums that has one good song, and nine "second CD of a two-CD single release" b-sides; it's listenable all the way through, the kind of record that grows on you. It has a slick production that still sounds big and impressive many years after it came out. The only drawback is that the songs have a uniform sound. The music, the vocal performances, and the production are consistent to such a degree that the album feels like one forty-minute song split into movements. In particular they seem to use the same drum programming on each track, sped up or slowed down as appropriate.
Doppelganger came out in 1991 and was only a very modest popular success. I am astonished that it wasn't massive. It sounds almost exactly like Garbage, but four years early. The resemblance is uncanny; Curve's lead singer has the same tone as the lead singer of Garbage, the guitars and drums are just as loud. The production sounds like a million pounds, and has only dated insofar as it sounds like a Garbage album from the mid-1990s, rather than an indie album from 1991. Garbage could have released this as their second album, and it would have topped the charts worldwide in 1996. It's odd to think that this was on the shelves at the same time as Jesus Jones and EMF. Curve should have dominated the pop charts. Perhaps they were too loud, perhaps their sound was too precise to duplicate live. They must have seemed a bit out of place on the indie scene, because they sounded very slick. If the record company had had any sense, this album should have been re-released in 1996 with a new cover, some remixes tacked on the end, and presto, brand new album. None of these songs would sound out of place on a film soundtrack today. The drums sound huge, the guitarist chimes his guitars like The Edge, with the solid texture of My Bloody Valentine.
"Already Yours" is a fantastic pop song, although I believe it was never released as a single. "Horror Head" is just as good. The album sags a bit in the middle, but that could be because of listener fatigue; "Lilies Dying" is very generic, and although "Ice that Melts the Tips" is a good song, I was getting tired of the unvarying vocal style by that point. I cannot recall "Split into Fractions", but the album picks up after that with the faster "Think & Act". The singer pushes her vocal range with "Fait Accompli", not entirely successfully. "Sandpit" is the slow dancing song, although the album's mood is very gloomy and dark, in a non-specific way reminiscent of Garbage, so it's not ideal if you're DJing at a wedding disco. "Clipped" is a good finale but again very generic. "Wish you Dead" and the title track are splendidly ominous and I imagine they are played a lot in goth clubs, probably.
Basically the album's best tunes are loaded into the first half, although if you enjoy the sound, there's nothing to make you swat the tone arm away from the record in disgust. I think Curve got lost amongst all the other one-word pre-Britpop indie bands of the period (Lush, Blur, Cake, Suede, etc) which is a terrible shame.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Curve's debut album is one of those moments when a band makes a sudden and significant impact on the music world. Their combination of breathy, female vocals, driving rhythms, guitars played as a wall of sound and catchy choruses had been done before but not in such an expert manner as this.
Opener 'Already Yours' sets the tone. The excellent Dean Garcia's frenetic bass combined with his guitar work, and that of Debbie Smith, makes a perfect background for Toni Halliday's vocals to soar through, alternating between the angelic to that of sexy vixen to the vitriolic.
'Horror Head' is one of Curve's best, from any of their albums. Halliday's breathy vocals are the main hook of the song, and they can't but help the listener from falling in love with her.
Elsewhere there are excellent guitar led songs such as 'Ice That Melts The Tips' to the heady rush of 'Think & Act'.
One of the best albums of the 90's.