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It's not just me then?,
This review is from: Mantaray (Audio CD)
There's always been excitement and trepidation at the prospect of new music from Siouxsie, whether with The Banshees or The Creatures (not to mention collaborations with Basement Jaxx and that Morrissey duet), along with eternal polemic over her title - The Ice Queen, Punk Icon/Legend, First Lady of Goth (cringe!), that shrieking old witch who sounds like nails down a blackboard.... (thanks mum..)
What Mantaray does, however, in spectacular, glorious style, is showcase the Siouxsie that is often overlooked - that of bona fide Pop Star. It is at once a complete distillation of everything she's ever done, or been, yet ambitiously heads into new musical territory rather than merely rehash former glories.
While "Loveless", for example, has the same leaden thudding beat as "Nightshift", and "One Mile Below" has a lively percussive texture not dissimilar to her outings with The Creatures,sandwiched between them is the awesome "If It Doesn't Kill You" - a smokey torch song which could easily open a Bond Movie. And why not? The idea of Siouxsie elbowing her way into the same musical arena as the likes of Tina Turner and Sheena Easton and COMPLETELY wiping the floor with them makes me smile - surely a more "punk" thing to do than one record label's suggestion she duet with Marilyn Manson?
"About To Happen" has a great glam-stomp feel to it, saved from hideous pastiche by sheer humour and enthusiasm, "Here Comes That Day" is brassy like Bassey only with Sioux's own lyrical venom, and "Sea of Tranquility" is nothing short of magnificent - a kind of shuffling oceanic lunar odyssey, with more stars in the sky than grains of sand. (Personally I'm relieved to hear it - on Anima Animus there were just black holes.)
Oh and it finishes with a piano ballad. No, really.
I think it's a masterpiece.