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Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Bat for Lashes - Two Suns LP 2009

I guess Bat for Lashes are quite famous and popular, but on listening to 'Two Suns' it's hard to understand why. The whole thing is relatively inaccessible and low key with a certain strange Goth element to proceedings involving a touch of All about Eve meets the Sisters of Mercy. There's also some elements of PJ Harvey's dirge laden rock and perhaps just a touch of Kate Bush in spiritual mood. On the face of it then, not something to be looked forward with any great relish.

But actually it's OK, and that's the major problem. At 'Into the Valley...' we are loathe to damn artists' efforts with feint praise, but unfortunately in this case we have nowhere else to go. It's a relatively enjoyable album with no real stinkers, but few high points. It sounds like the kind of album that will reward you for sticking with it, but ultimately repeated listens offer only the feeling that this is average. I quite like the one sing-a-long number 'Daniel' but I only 'quite like' it. It's the standard feint praise review.

If you like the idea of 'The Mission' with Kate Bush on lead vocals, singing vaguely electronic songs written by PJ Harvey you'll love it. But for the rest of us Bat for Lashes could improve in several ways:

1. Natasha Kahn could co-write the songs with Gary Barlow to balance out that dirge with some poptastic fun.
2. Natasha Kahn could forget writing the songs herself and do a covers album of none-dirge based songs possibly satisfying her Goth leanings with  'Wasteland' or 'Serpent's Kiss' by the Mission, but pepping things up with a bit of 'YMCA' or 'Bohemian Rhapsody'.
3. Natasha Kahn could rename the band 'Old Bat for Lashes' and replace herself with a witch on lead vocals. The singer from Rachel Unthank would be ideal, obviously in a fancy dress witch costume, or so my Gran says.

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