On the surface, the songs are about ordinary things... unrealised dreams lamented ("Broken Promises"); euphoria ("I Fell in Love"); romantic rivalry ("Documents"); and so on... but the narrative structures are less cliched, the voices employed less friendly; and the musical experience less patronising to the listener.
The stunningly beautiful "Why", a duet with Robert Love (Alabama 3), should move you to tears if you can identify with the sincerity of Dillon's gravelly, toothless hag rant blended with Love's baritone drawl. All of this is only accompanied by a lone harmonium-esque instrument.
Or perhaps the gospel-structured "Who's Answering?" will connect as it asks: "Jesus, What become of Me?"; along with a request to "Give me a lover, a bed and some gin/ I beg the one who's answering."
Despite an uncompromisingly jarring opening title track, the album scores near perfect in its middle third. That's about right, as it is Dillon's seventh album, and in those moments the maturity of the artist shows. Those four or five tracks are probably reason enough to score the album highly.
But be warned: this is not for you if you think James Blunt is the beginning and end of all music as we know it. Tell your friends about this, and as Dillon herself exclaims on "Carnival of Dreams": "They're all gonna laugh at you!"- Anton Marshall* What is MRSA?
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