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There's some albums that are particularly suited to their covers, and this is a perfect example. The yellow-clad diva against a pink flowery background is the perfect image for the album's most familiar song, the Bollywood-flavoured "Kiss Them For Me". When I first heard this I mistook it for the Cocteau Twins, as Siouxsie's vocal inflections here reminded me of Elizabeth Fraser. Along with catchy songs like "Shadowtime" and "The Ghost in You", the album is filled with a poppy prettiness. With the help of producer Stephen Hague (Pet Shop Boys, New Order) it's decorated with keyboard and digital ear-candy.
The jerky paranoia of "Peepshow" has been toned down, appearing only occasionally in "Fear (of the Unknown)". Instead the album is overwhelmingly pink, especially on the ethereal "Softly". This is reminiscent of the stuff Julee Cruise and Angelo Badalementi were doing around the same time for "Twin Peaks", fragile and breathy vocals over a mush of synth floatiness. "Drifter" is similar but more traditionally gothic, building up its tension with a throbbing drumbeat. A listenable album, pleasing on the ear with plenty of tunes.
May 17, 2004