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CD: Alison Moyet - the minutes | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Alison Moyet - the minutes

CD: Alison Moyet - the minutes

'Alf' is in energetic mode, but can she carry it off?

the minutes - joyful

Alison Moyet is not just one of the great voices in pop, she's one of the most likeable figures. A brilliantly no-nonsense character, she consistently skewers music industry pomposity, laughs in the face of the expectations the world has of female artists, and generally does precisely what she wants while retaining an abnormally acute sense of the absurdness of it all.

All of which seems to have fed into the minutes, which is a fabulously immature album – in the sense that this is clearly a singer-songwriter having nothing but fun in the studio, like a kid in a candy shop. With production partner Guy Sigsworth (Björk, Madonna), she's made an electronically-led record that unlike her bluesy and trip-hoppy albums of the 1990s and early 2000s leaps up and bites you in the face.

At points it does this to a ridiculous degree. “Changeling", "Apple Kisses” and the epic album-closer “Rung by the Tide” seem to have taken their production cues from the pop-dubstep of the likes of Nero and Chase & Status, and the sharpness of their high frequencies and jagged hyperactivity of their edits take some getting used to. Elsewhere, as on “Horizon Flame", “Right as Rain” and the zippy “Love Reign Supreme", the electro-pop of Moyet's early days in Yazoo takes over, but this too has all kinds of digital production lavished on it, to generally luxurious effect. Again, though, this production is in your face, and it takes a couple of listens for the myriad detail to coalesce around the song.

The songs are super-strong, though, and Moyet's voice is seemingly more versatile than ever. There's a perfectly deployed post-punk yelp to a lot of the songs that perfectly counterpoints her torch-song low registers, and also shows a lot of lazy young pretenders (stand up, Florence) how to do it. It's a joyful album, and in places exquisitely realised – it's just hard not to wonder what would have happened if Moyet and Sigsworth had looked to other, subtler electronic forms too and just reined in the gloss a little more.

Watch the video for "When I was Your Girl"


Unlike her bluesy and trip-hoppy albums of the 1990s and early 2000s, it leaps up and bites you in the face

rating

Editor Rating: 
3
Average: 3 (1 vote)

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