After four albums of enjoyably poised if not especially permanent pop, Sophie Ellis-Bextor’s quite remarkable new record comes out of nowhere.
Bedecked with a bewitchingly gothic hue, these 11 pieces are grand and ambitious. Co-written, produced and arranged by Ed Harcourt, his grizzled indie-pop chops are all over these songs.
Ellis-Bextor has never been in finer voice, soaring across the glistening ‘Birth Of An Empire’ and a measure in restraint on the sincerely beautiful ballad ‘Young Blood’ (video below).
However, it is when a little of her co-writer’s Waits-ian ways pop up on the tumultuous ‘Cry To The Beat Of The Band’ that this album’s pedigree is fully asserted.
Words: Gareth James
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