There are 336 words in this review (yep, I’ve counted ’em), but I can sum them all up in just three: buy this CD.
Love Outside Andromeda’s full-length, eponymous follow-up to their EP Something White & Sigmund (released back when they were just Andromeda) is a triumph. Think killer tunes, drop-dead-gorgeous vocals, and original, allusive lyrics – and you’re in the ballpark.
This CD starts strongly and then really hits its straps, although for someone who hasn’t been able to prise the polished Something White & Sigmund out of the stereo, the first three tracks are unexpectedly raw. In fact, Tongue Like a Tether and Gonna Try to Be a Girl have the driving sound, vocal gymnastics and caustic lyrics of early PJ Harvey.
The gorgeous If You Really Want so Little from Me, with its sparse instrumentation, sounds a bit like Cat Power – although it’s better sung.
Love Outside Andromeda aren’t paint-by-numbers imitators, though. They have their own sound, a sound built around singer Sianna Lee. Vocally, Lee has remarkable range, control, and expressiveness – she’s as suited to soft and subdued, almost-spoken songs like If You Really Want so Little from Me as she is to punkier tracks like Gonna Try to Be a Girl.
It’s hard to single out highlights, although anyone with Triple JJJ programmed into their car stereo will be familiar with Something White & Sigmund, number 65 in last year’s Hottest 100, and the title track on the band’s previous EP. (In a canny piece of marketing, it’s been included on this CD.) Another song to receive airplay, Boxcutter Baby, is just as beguiling: the drum-roll beat, string arrangement, and Lee’s soaring vocals… Mmm-hmm. In fact, between these two tracks, I’ve given the ‘repeat’ button on my stereo remote a fair hammering.
But don’t think there are only two knockouts on this CD. The gorgeous If You Really Want so Little from Me, with its sparse instrumentation, sounds a bit like Cat Power – although it’s better sung. Hecate Pose has enough gear-shifts for three normal songs. And let’s not forget Your Baby, My Blood, or Chameleon, or Juno, or…
Hell. Just buy the damn CD, OK?