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Skin Inflicts Fleshwounds - Skin: Fleshwounds

2006-03-29 18:17

Hardcore fans of Skunk Anansi's boisterous brand of post grunge punk and alternative metal should probably approach erstwhile lead singer Skin's debut solo offering Fleshwounds with an open ear. Having out grown her rage against the machine tendency to target issues like racism, religious fundamentalism and gender misconception Skin turns her focus to far more personal demons.

But don't be deluded, Skin still rights "politically". It's just that now her lyrical aim is clearly trained on an inner politics of f**ked up human relationships. Taking the soulful lighters in the air power ballads of "Weak" into far more insidious territory, on bleak yet defiant ballads such as "Faithfulness" and "You've Made your Bed" Skin concentrates on shedding any and all cliches, happy to articulate both the emotional wounds and the ensuing scar tissue.

Thanks to some seriously sparse production from David Kosten (aka neo-electronic classical composer Faultline) the prevailing aural mood provides the perfect platform for Skin's ruminations on the inevitable dissolution of love and friendship. And when skewered grunge guitars do try and raise their head ("Listen to Yourself") even these are given the anaesthetised surgical treatment.

Okay, so it's unclear just how radio-friendly this largely pensive offering is. But the presence of Robbie Williams' ex-songwriting partner Guy Chambers on the confident confessional ballad "Lost" has more than enough vulnerability and emotional forthrightness to bleed it's way up the charts.

Skunk Anansi's unmistakeable lead singer grapples personal demons in this vulnerable and forthright solo debut.


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