Sadly I associate Siouxsie's final album with a disappointing gig I went to on its supporting tour. The lack of audience noise fed back into the band's unenergetic performance, and Siouxsie was visibly annoyed.
John Cale produces half of these tracks in a darker, rockier style than the floral, synth-laden "Superstition", as they intended to shift a little back to punk basics. But with little songwriting inspiration, they tend towards lackluster fluff. They have another stab at the floatily perky pop single on "O Baby", but it's routine stuff, not living up to "Kiss Them For Me". While its jaunty backing tune keeps moving, Siouxsie's vocal line seems to have no motivation. They sound much more convincing here on doom-laden percussion-heavy goth such as "Not Forgotten". The cathedral-proportioned title track is divided theatrically into three episodes. This is goth meets prog rock, with its organically-growing string section, reverb-laden vocals and tribal drumbeats.
"Sick Child" nearly evokes the staring-eyed creepiness of "Peepshow", but "The Lonely One" and "Falling Down" are plain flat and dull. Maybe the best melody here is "Forever", gently undulating over a constantly pinging harp. The other stand out piece is "The Double Life". Its hammy spoken verses and thumping chorus are a confident return to traditional goth. Finally they let everything go for the uninhibited stomp "Love Out Me", but in all they deserved a better farewell album.
March 19, 2005