Top critical review
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Not so Top-ley Bird.
on 17 November 2005
I bought this album for a couple of reasons - firstly, the incredibly etherial-sound that is 'Sandpaper Kisses', which I discovered though the equally esoteric xbox game 'Fahrenheit'. Secondly, the Mercury music award nomination and other glowing reviews.
However, for me this album is all shades of grey - apart from the track that I bought it for and one other, which is a real let-down. I was expecting more of the same - that hypnotic voice mixed with a variation of new sounds, but what is commonly revered as 'That Voice' becomes a mediocre and broadly monotonous sound in a selection of tracks that seem to meandre through repetitive and down-beat tunes and rhythms; not the rich and varied combination that I was hoping for.
All in all, don't believe the hype. Personally, I think this is one of those albums that gathers momentum within the 'elite' of the music intelligensia: everyone listens to it, can't decide whether it's so bad that it goes full-circle and is actually a work of genius, and before you know it no-one has the guts to give it a bad word - or they would surely risk their reputation as a connosieur - one of the chosen few who are sophisticated enough to 'get it'. The whole thing snowballs and you have enough momentum to sell many more cd's than it deserves.
If you like 'Sandpaper Kisses' (which I can't praise enough, from it's inventive use of instruments, moody bassline and of course Martina's sublime vocal talents) then download that track from one of the pay-per-track sites and save the rest of your cash for an album with some creative width and breadth.