Album Reviews

Music You Don't Know You Like Yet

DIANE BIRCH

The Velveteen Age

2011-02-21

In the follow-up to her break-through debut "Bible Belt," Diane Birch teams up with the neo-soul ensemble The Phenomenal Handclap Band to do a set of covers from late '80s/early '90s rock groups such as The Cure, Siouxsie and the Banshees and Joy Division. Why? If you missed the narrative of Birch's younger years last time around, she was raised by strict Seventh Day Adventist parents (dad was a pastor) and never heard rock 'n roll until later in her teens. Once she caught the Goth rock muse, it was breakaway time (the subject of most of "Bible Belt") and these were the songs that liberated her spirit. Birch has a great voice and she's in fine form. Her version of Echo and the Bunnyman's "Bring on the Dancing Horses" is particularly excellent, but the entire collection rings. These covers are not rote versions of the originals, which may or may not cause programmer angst. I like her chutzpah. 2/10 MJVD R-Contemporary (Brit)

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Compiled by the WYCE Journalism Club

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