Tuesday , February 27 2024
Though an experimental spirit hovers over her new album, Alison Moyet's writing mojo remains as strong as her forever-unmistakeable voice. 'Other' is as vital as anything she's ever done.

Music Review: Alison Moyet – ‘Other’

alison moyet otherAlison Moyet has traveled many roads over her long career – rock, soul, theater, and more – but her new album Other show she’s never lost her affinity for the cool electronic sound-baths that defined much of her early work as well as 2013’s stellar the minutes. Yet while Moyet’s sound and sensibility remain utterly distinctive, the variety of moods and methods on Other‘s 10 tracks show equally unmistakeable signs of a peripatetic creative life, while the wisdom of age percolates through the lyrics. As she sings in the strongly theatrical “The English U,” “I’m always listening.”

Listening to her own unique muse has always led her towards fertile ground. The pastoral melodies and epic chorus of “The Rarest Birds” resonate with the steely determination of the opening track, “I Germinate.” The nervous synth twitches and vocal shouts of “Beautiful Gun” contrast with her rich, sensuous alto in the spoken-word “April 10,” and the latter’s dark iciness leads effectively into the nursery-rhyme cadences of the title track, where we find Moyet in her gentlest mode, using an airy head-voice to deliver a beautiful tone poem.

Still she proves she hasn’t left chirpy, pounding dance-pop behind with “Happy Giddy,” echoing the Bee Gees and Madonna. (Producer Guy Sigsworth, whom she also partnered with on the minutes, has worked with Madonna, as well as artists as different as Björk and Britney Spears.)

Closing the album, an almost heavy-metal synthesizer thunder sweeps over the chorus of “Alive,” turning the slight composition into an oceanic rush. Though an experimental spirit hovers over the new album, Moyet’s writing mojo remains as strong as her forever-unmistakeable voice. Other is as vital as anything she’s ever done.

Other is out now on UK indie label Cooking Vinyl and its U.S. arm Cooking Vinyl America. Keeping up with our weirdly retro times, the label has made it available on cassette as well as CD, vinyl, and download.

About Jon Sobel

Jon Sobel is Publisher and Executive Editor of Blogcritics as well as lead editor of the Culture & Society section. As a writer he contributes most often to Music, where he covers classical music (old and new) and other genres, and Culture, where he reviews NYC theater. Through Oren Hope Marketing and Copywriting at http://www.orenhope.com/ you can hire him to write or edit whatever marketing or journalistic materials your heart desires. Jon also writes the blog Park Odyssey at http://parkodyssey.blogspot.com/ where he is on a mission to visit every park in New York City. He has also been a part-time working musician, including as lead singer, songwriter, and bass player for Whisperado.