Alphastates - Human Nature
Catherine Dowling's sultry haze of a voice is the defining and pre-eminent feature, as ever, as it shifts and softly cracks above both catchy hooks and soft vibes. The bassy synth hook of lead single 'Champagne Glass' vindicates its success on the dancefloors of New York, while the rough-edged riff and distorted punk guitars of 'The Record Machine' show that the band formerly known as Babelfish still know how to rock out.
But it's the stark contrast between these upbeat pop numbers and the mellower, more reflective tracks, which ooze an introspective aching, that makes 'Human Nature' an album with real depth. The plonking synths, building strings and delayed vocals of 'Swimming' construct the perfect watery backdrop for its subject matter, while atmospheric closer 'Comfort in Silence' ambles from its droning instrumental opening through discreet vocal passageways with ease and grace. If only more Irish bands had this kind of range.
Review by Jenny Mulligan | 09:00 | Monday 27th April 2009 | Album Review