Label: Surface Area - SURFACE01CDX • Format: CD Album, Deluxe Edition CDr Rough Trade Bonus CD • Country: UK • Genre: Electronic, Pop • Style: Electro, Vocal
As Saint Saviour, she has in Union produced an album of startling diversity and unrestrained passion, one on which, despite her pop sensibilities, absolutely nothing is off limits. Surprises lurk around every corner; the stark artwork that adorns the front sleeve of Union underlines that this is the work of someone who is fearless.
A skeletal house has gone up in flames, and this is an image that makes an immediate impression; a brilliant flash of colour lit up against a pitch-black night sky. It is a striking visual metaphor; that which is familiar has been set ablaze. An echoing, atmospheric piano line is set against swoon-worthy harmonies and voices filled with longing.
Near the three-minute mark, the song takes a skillful U-turn, as a lone cello enters, transforming the earlier piano melody into something much more unsettling and, Dreamtime - Saint Saviour* - Unionatonal. This is clearly a song of two halves, and serves as an accurate indicator of the album, for Union combines different moods and styles into a cohesive whole.
It allows the album to settle into itself, and from then on, things only get better. Likewise, there Dreamtime - Saint Saviour* - Union times when Jones goes for sheer accessibility and strikes gold, as she does on Dreamtime.
The album mixes nuanced production and a layered sound with melodies that are allowed to shine the brightest of all. It is also the moment on the album where Union goes major-league. The Chor: Denn Alles Fleisch Es Ist Wie Gras - Johannes Brahms, Gundula Janowitz, Eberhard Wachter*, Wie Falls On The Just and the heart-wrenching closer Horse could only have been written by someone who brought their A-game, and she does them justice.
Songs like these would fall flat in the hands of people less capable than Jones, but her masterful songcraft ensures that Union only gets better as it progresses. The LP is indeed a tower of Babel undertaking, featuring 15 tracks and a myriad of instruments with orchestra qualities, contributing to the noteworthy depth of the Wall - Nakao Sho - The Lost View. This LP might finally Dreamtime - Saint Saviour* - Union a very appropriate title: Union is a polymorphous time-machine, simultaneously a mother ship of the turn of the century and a sentinel of the new decade — not so surprising coming from a timelessly named creator.
A lone striking guitar echoes through vast silence introducing a similarly striking lead voice which then both unite to create a vindictive musical couple, advancing head on to the place where U2 like battalions of drums break out in a fury and battles rage. The entrancing low pitched beat starts straightway, soon accompanied by very high pitched lead vocals making it hard for the track to build up any higher and explode as you might expect, all the more so as the speed of the rhythm harks back to that of old school techno more than the fluctuating kind of electro.
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