Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Sing, Memory - Sarah Nixey

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"This is Sarah Nixey talking" is hardly the most exciting of opening gambits to an album on paper, but within ten seconds of putting the CD into your player it immediately draws you in her crisp, English diction proving to be a strength, not a novelty gimmick. (Incidentally the vocals remind me a lot of Natasha "Bat For Lashes" Khan).

What is clear is that for all the "art" that Nixey brings to any project (erstwhile of Black Box Recorder) she's acutely aware that in pop music its the tunes that matter.

Strangelove and The Collector are two great singles but are only the tip of the iceberg. The likes of Nothing On Earth, Hotel Room and Masquerade (the latter of which may be the standout track) are also sublime and leave a lasting impression. Nixey even manages a winner with her cover of the Human League's The Black Hit Of Space.

If I'm being critical, at 15 tracks (albeit with two spoken interludes) it is perhaps a tad too long and could well have benefited from a couple of omissions. Having said that, that is a minor criticism at worst.

Those of you who canonise Sophie Ellis Bextor as the arch queen of detached disco pop should listen to this to find out just how wrong you really are. Those who see Siobhan Donaghy as the shining light of proper pop music should listen to this and see how "commercial" concerns can be married successfully with catchy tunes. Quite simply, this is sublime.

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