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Siouxsie

Mantaray (W14/Universal)

By Andy Gill

For the first solo outing of her 30-year career, Siouxsie has hooked up with co-producers Steve Evans and Charlie Jones, best known for their work with Robert Plant and Goldfrapp respectively.

They're a good match for her own musical instincts, equally adept at the strident glam-punk riffing of "About to Happen" and the loping world groove of "They Follow You", and most points in between. Perhaps mindful of her core constituency, the single "Into a Swan" opens the album with a churning goth-rock stomp that's not too dissimilar from the heavier end of the Banshees' oeuvre. It's effectively Siouxsie's own take on the Ugly Duckling fable, the first of a series of songs about transformation and endurance that reaches its apogee on "If It Doesn't Kill You", where the Nietzschean aphorism is bent to her own needs: "If it doesn't kill you, it will shape you/ If it doesn't break you, it will make you". Elsewhere, stalking strings and brass accompany her anticipation of a hypocrite's comeuppance in "Here Comes That Day", and bulbous marimba strolls through the doomy strings of "Loveless". All quite different, and all quite good.





Download this: 'Into a Swan', 'About to Happen', 'Loveless', 'Drone Zone'

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