2001: BMG/Moksha 74321888452

  1. Demonstrate
  2. Hide U
  3. Catch
  4. Cover
  5. Harder
  6. (Slip and Slide) Suicide
  7. Empty Skies
  8. I Want It All
  9. Resist
  10. Hungry
  11. Face in a Crowd
  12. Pride
  13. Cruelty
  14. Let It Go
  15. Gone
  16. Hide U [John Creamer and Stephane K Remix Edit]

Originally loaned to me by a Québecois coworker, this one lurked in my mind’s shadows for almost a year before I decided to get a copy for myself.

Unquestionably it was “Cover” that caught my attention in the first place…there I was, calmly working at my office and playing the loaned CD for the first time on headphones, and suddenly the music shifted from background to immediate foreground when I realized the singer had just quoted Joni Mitchell: “There are some lines you put there and some you erase,” which is from Mitchell’s “Off Night Back Street” (on Don Juan’s Reckless Daughter). It was beautifully chosen and applied, and there was no question of it being plagiarism…and I hit the button on my CD player to start that track again from the beginning and put that into context.

I’m not enamoured of the entire album: I’m drawn to its more lyrical and melodic pieces, specifically “Cover” and ”Gone” above all others here, but at the same time I’m curious enough about what grabbed me to return to reconsider the ones that didn’t quite land but were from the same combination of artists. And in time “Let It Go,” the fourteenth track, has grown on me, but I think it might be best out of context…by the time you get to the end of the album, you’re so used to Sian’s voice and all the programming that it doesn’t command your interest as much as this track actually should do…as a standalone it’s magically singular.

It’s an uneven album, the relentless drum-and-bass beat programming notwithstanding, and I think that’s because the programming was the original intent of the album and the singing and actual songwriting that resulted from the collaboration with the vocalist took the later parts of the album in an unexpected direction, with far superior results.