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'Bizarre Love Triangle'   

-  Label: 'Planet XOX'
-  Genre: 'Punk/New Wave' -  Release Date: '2004'-  Catalogue No: 'XOXCD3'

Our Rating:
Now that the long-awaited new Garbage CD is out, it's time to offer an alternative to others who were similarly disappointed with the latest effort from Shirley Manson and her band. Charlotte Summer's "Bizarre Love Triangle" - yes, named after the New Order classic - is a sexy, doomy, and quite danceable update of post-punk with a slightly club-ish subtext. Summer has a husky, powerful voice that commands attention; this is no weakling femme singer/songwriter from the Lilith Fair days.

The first cut, "Cage," opens the door to her inner darkness right away, swinging on a black Joy Division-ish riff. There's a little bit more Joy Division on "Guilty" as well, and even the cryptic one-word song titles have that Ian Curtis aura to them. "Dreams" is a mood-weaving number with a late-period Depeche Mode undertow; the tempo does pick up a tad but it's so seductively ominous that it doesn't wear the listener down with its bleakness.

Mixing Goth and pop is perfectly natural as the Cure and Siouxsie & the Banshees have proven in the past, and Summer excels in delivering said mutations. "Without Me" is probably the album's heaviest track; however, it remains a toe-tapper. "Wasted" has deliciously sinister keyboards.

There have been too many Cure covers in the past, but Summer's rendition of the Cure's "Just Like Heaven" is a standout. It sounds much grimmer, musically speaking, than the original, and Summer's midnight voice provides it with a nocturnal sensuality that Robert Smith was never able to convey. Forget Garbage's new CD and get this instead.
  author: Steve T.

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SUMMER, CHARLOTTE - Bizarre Love Triangle