The Hope Blister - Smile's OK

Album cover

  1. Dagger (5:53)
  2. Only Human (3:59)
  3. Outer Skin (5:43)
  4. Sweet Unknown (4:17)
  5. Let the Happiness In (6:07)
  6. Is Jesus Your Pal? (6:24)
  7. Spider and I (5:03)
  8. Hanky Panky Nohow (4:41)

4AD, 1998

The Hope Blister is the resurrection of 4AD mogul Ivo Watts-Russell's This Mortal Coil project - a selection of melancholy interpretations of some of his favourite esoteric numbers. There's not many new ideas here, and there doesn't seem to have been as much care taken over the song choice and arrangements, compared to the lavish This Mortal Coil. Singer Louise Rutkowski returns to perform all these songs, set starkly against the usual reverbed synth and string mush. She does turn in a good robust performance of Slowdive's "Dagger". And it's very difficult to make a mess of a song like David Sylvian's "Let the Happiness In". But the varied instrumental vignettes and contrasts in mood are missing, and we're left with a largely bleak and unwelcoming album.

September 20, 2004

5 out of 10

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written and maintained by Christopher Jackson
<chris@fluffhouse.org.uk>