Bat For Lashes, Two Suns

Published on September 29th, 2009 in: Issues, Music, Music Reviews, Reviews |

I can’t answer a definitive yes or no, but I will say this, there are some great songs on this album. “Daniel” is apparently the “hit song” from Two Suns (it has a rather interesting video to accompany it) and is supposed to be a love-song to Ralph Macchio’s Karate Kid character (well, that’s the rumor surrounding it, but the video does hint at that at the very end). It’s a really great track overall.

natasha khan

Besides “Daniel,” here are songs that really stand out: “Glass,” “Sleep Alone,” “Peace of Mind,” “Good Love,” “Two Planets,” and “The Big Sleep”. The rest are forgettable, boring, or evoked Tori Amos. However, seven out of 11 songs are definitely in her favor!

I’m only going to focus on the positive in this article, as what I didn’t care for is better left to someone else that may form a different opinion of the album. “Glass” is the opening track, and has a very dreamy dulcimer immersed in deeply panned tom-toms that echo nicely. Natasha’s voice is heavy on the falsetto in this one; in fact I’d say her voice is reminiscent of Sinead O’Connor, but accented more like PJ Harvey, She’s not the missing link between the two of them, however (although Sinead and PJ are two voices that would make a very complementary comparison).

“Sleep Alone” is the second track, and my favorite on the entire album. It has this sort of Old Country beat to it (it echoes Dolly Parton’s “Jolene”) mixed with minimal synth accents. This song is very catchy, and it definitely gets into your head (but not in a negative way).

“Peace of Mind” is a haunting string-arranged love song, with a beautiful gospel harmony and actually very ethereal. “Good Love” reminds me a lot of PJ Harvey’s cover of “Is That All There Is,” with a slow, brooding organ carrying the tune. “Two Planets” is tribal, but ghostly and sparse as well. Lyrically it references “The Song of Solomon.”

The finale of the album is “The Big Sleep,” and boy what a finale it is!! It’s GORGEOUS! It has a slow, Brechtian-cabaret atmosphere, guest starring SCOTT WALKER! (I’m not kidding!) Natasha and Scott do a very beautiful duet that just warms the heart! It’s almost like a funeral dirge, evoking the idea of a carnival coming to its bitter end. . . but it’s absolutely stunning!

So, would I recommend this album? Yes, I think I would. Its a very impressive album overall, and I do respect Natasha Khan, and hope she continues to create a lengthy discography. There really aren’t too many impressive newer artists, let alone female musicians that defy description with their multi-tasking.

A special two-disc edition of Two Suns will be released in the US on November 3. It contains eight bonus tracks and a 48-minute documentary, Two + Two.

The band will be touring the UK and Europe through October and November. Please check the Official Site or the Bat For Lashes MySpace page for upcoming dates.

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