see also... Andrea Parker
"We Are Science" is the second solo album from the Edinburgh vocalist, formerly of One Dove. It's an eclectic mix of spiky electronica, ethereal trip-hop and hazy strumming rock. Allison's vocals are understated, breathy with a relaxed flatness. Infused throughout the album is the mechanistic new-wave sound of early New Order. Not only in its Gilbert and Morris-style blips and clicks, but with its Hookish dirty high bass. (the title "Substance" is probably no coincidence). Slightly colder than Allison's similar experimental contemporary Andrea Parker.
Allison's tendency to repeat the song title as the only lyric, as on "We're Only Science" also adds to the mechanical mood. This can get too dumb and repetitive, as on the refrain of "I Think I Love You". The whirling bass-heavy "Strung Out" is a much more engaging pop number, successfully similar to Goldfrapp's "Black Cherry". The dirty analog electronics on "You Can Be Replaced" give focus to its strong sneering tune.
It's surprising how the guitar-based stuff here merges so seamlessly with the bleepery. The twangs and strums on "Lover" recall the trippy country of Mazzy Star's "So Tonight That I Might See", and "Wishing Stone" has an early Pink Floyd-like psychedelic overtone. But the album's highlight is the ethereal epic "Performance", shifting through hazy clouds of Joy Division-like industrial, warm string textures and spacey whizzes. A successful discovery from emusic.com.
December 30, 2004