Chaos and a Dancing Star and Supervision are the two albums I’ve been looking forward to the most for the start of 2020. As ususal, I’ll reserve final judgment in full reviews when they come up randomly (after having listened to them a few times and my personal feelings about them have solidified). For now, I’d just like to throw out my first impressions.
Marc Almond- Chaos and a Dancing Star
Brilliant! To me, this is his strongest solo album probably since Varieté back in 2010. Don’t get me wrong; he’s done a lot of great work throughout, and with a dazzling array or colaborations. As a cohesive, complete album, this is very, very good.
To be a bit more objective, it probably is a bit away from excellent. Parts could be considered too theatrical/cringey to some listeners not already Almond devotees. For the already converted, mega-fans could point to many of the songs as imitations of earlier tracks from his career. For example, “Fighting a War”‘s linneage could be traced back to “The Idol” from the devisive Fantastic Star album.
Personally, I’m a fan of that 90’s album. It has its issues and might not exicute its ideas perfectly, but was fun and interesting in its own way.
How many different songs can be written without some overlap, anyway? Chaos and a Dancing Star (and Amond) continues to work because it is his current album; where he is at this moment in time. His body of work deals with a wide variety of thematic ideas, and here is where some of those might be revisited and updated.
I think almost everything works for a 2020 Marc Almond ‘gothic’ album. His voice is amazing, the lyrics are heartfelt, mysterious but relatable, the instrumentation is interesting, never overbearing, and the production is nice.
Oh yeah- “Slow Burn Love” might be as good a song as “Bedsitter” or “Melancholy Rose”. Really! Highly recommended- get this album!
La Roux- Supervision
Download “International Woman of Leisure”. Not the best she’s done, but very good and catchy.
The rest of the album is never a drag to listen to, but is definately lacking. Auto-pilot is the best way of describing it. Maybe one of those albums that takes a while to open up and grow on you? We’ll see.