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Sorrow - Sleep Now Forever (Piski Disk)

Sorrow is Rose McDowall and Robert Lee, to names that aren't all that well-known in the mainstream of pop music. In the case of Robert, it's not all that surprising, as his career has mainly involved working with such cult figures as This Mortal Coil, Dead Can Dance, Jah Wobble and Brian Eno. Rose McDowall, on the other hand, sits more in the category of pop's forgotten heroes. As half of Strawberry Switchblade, Rose's baby-doll voice and dark music, as well as the famous polka-dots, were more than well-known. In fact, their '82 classic, 'Since Yesterday' is still played on retro music stations.

That was then and this is now and, over the years, Rose has worked with seminal alternative figures, like Genesis P Orridge's Psychic TV, the Damned and Coil. Sorrow, however, is closer to Strawberry Switchblade's dark pop than any of those acts. This is Strawberry Switchblade grown up, less poppy and more atmospheric, music awash with traditional and classical instruments, topped with Rose's voice, which still has a light baby-doll feel, but has matured and improved over the years.

The music owes more than a nod to the aforementioned This Mortal Coil and also to the soundtrack to the Twin Peaks TV series of a few years ago. It is very hard to put into words, and this reviewer must bow to the superior descriptive abilities of the press release and call it "Dark-Ambient-Electro-Acoustic-Ether-Pop", which says it all really!

Donnacha DeLong

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