Sunday, March 14, 2010

Rhodes needs to roam


DRUM and bass vocalist-turned-folk singer Lou Rhodes has done a lot more than One Good Thing over the years - so forgive me if I'm being a little over critical of her third solo LP.
As part of pioneering '90s electronic group Lamb, rather than singing over the top of tracks Rhodes gorgeous tones were an intrinsic part of the machine, fusing with the complex beats and embellishments crafted by Andrew Barlow like a musical cyborg.
Then, after Lamb's breakup in 2004 she reinvented herself as a stripped-down folk singer, with her solo debut Beloved One good enough to be nominated for the 2006 Mercury Music Prize.
And One Good Thing continues to tread this lo-fi, delicate route, providing intensely cathartic tracks such as Janey, which deals with the death of Rhodes's sister, expertly flecked with sparse strings and ambience.
There's no doubting that One Good Thing is a wonderful album - I just feel that, in a career defined by invention, Rhodes shouldn't be looking to retread her steps next time round.

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