SMOKE IN THE SHADOWS
ATAVISTIC, BREAKIN' BEATS RELEASE:
NOVEMBER, 2004 REVIEW: JANUARY
Lunch has over 25 years of activity
as subversive chanteuse and polemical
provocateur behind her. Where most
people may find it difficult to keep
the rage up for that long, Lunch seems
to have a never-ceasing capacity to
fan the flame of frustration, which
her recent live performances as well
as new album “Smoke in the Shadows”
are able proofs of.
like her last studio album “Widowspeak”,
“Smoke in the Shadows”
is dominated by a hazy jazz noir soundscape.
But unlike its predecessor, it mainly
eschews spoken word in favour of more
song centered tracks. It works wonderfully,
with Lunch’s vitriolic yet darkly
humourous tales from the darker side
of town (and the mind) becoming even
more engaging in this strangely seductive
The backing band may shift from track
to track, but the music definitely
works as a whole, with the impressive
bass playing and the wild splashes
of brass being definite highlights.
Lunch’s singing voice also sounds
better than it probably ever has,
ranging from veiled desperation to
a bluesy drawl that suits the music
and her lyrics perfectly.
in the Shadows” took its time
to really grow on me, but give it
that and you’ll discover that
it hasn’t got one obsolete second,
making it one of the best albums of
the year as well as another impressive
entry in Lydia Lunch’s long
list of releases.