This highly anticipated album contains as many misses as it does hits.
Sophie Bruce 2009
Bat For Lashes is back with not just a new album, Two Suns, but a whole new alter ego. But Natasha Khan, the girl behind the mask, has spent too long creating a second on-stage persona (beat that Beyonce). All this silliness does is draw away from the music – because this highly anticipated album contains as many misses as it does hits.
They say you shouldn't judge a book by its cover – which is fortunate seeing as this one shows Khan in enough body paint to sink a battleship, surrounded by candles, moons and a crown of thorny stars. But you'd expect nothing less from a girl who appeared on the cover of Fader wearing a wolf mask as a beret.
There are some highs – amongst them Daniel, an obvious choice for first single with its oh-so-now synth-drenched melody and soaring vocals. Sleep Alone is an anthem for the lonely with high pitched vocals against a throbbing bassline. And Pearl's Dream is stylish, ominous and insistent. Maybe the creation of that second alter ego gave her the boost she needed. Dare we suggest she should have tried it on the following misses?
Glass, the track which gives the album its title, is like messy, unfinished Bjork. Piece Of Mind is all over the place, totally squandering the very good choir backing her. Good Love is heavy and labouring and Two Planets makes her sound like Annie Lennox's twin. While the latter is undoubtedly a diva, she's not exactly dripping with cutting edge cool.
The album closer says it all – Scott Walker duet The Big Sleep invites the listener to do just that; it's practically coma inducing. With La Roux, Florence and the Machine, Lady Gaga and Little Boots all clamouring for the quirky solo female slot, Two Suns sees Khan fail to make the grade in a somewhat oversaturated market. Overall it's disappointing stuff from a former Mercury Prize nominee.