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Violet Indiana - Russian Doll

  by Olga Sladeckova

published: 13 / 5 / 2004

Violet Indiana - Russian Doll
Label: Bella Union
Format: CD


Dreamy ,long-overdue second album from Violet Indiana, the latest band of former Cocteau Twin Robin Guthrie, which proves to have been definitely worth waiting for

It’s been two years since Violet Indiana released their last album ‘Roulette’, but it has been definitely worth the long wait. While Siobhan Mare, the band’s singer, went off for a break and became a mother to a little boy, Robin Guthrie, the band’s songwriter and guitarist, filled the time by recording his debut solo album ‘Imperial’ ; becoming involved in various collaborations with other bands and, of course, writing songs for Violet Indiana's second album ‘Russian Doll’. ‘Russian Doll’ is, just like Robin promised, “delicious”. It actually feels a bit like a love affair. The album certainly has all the quality of being seductive, dreamy and carefree and has great passion and charm. Its lyrics deal with love in different forms including disappointment and betrayal. ‘Never Enough’ opens the album with ethereal guitars playing a seductive tune. Siobhan's soft voice however rebels against the music with straightforward lyrics. “I’m sick of you, everything you do /have you ever thought that maybe I don’t care ? ” she speaks to her lover. The song gives the album a powerful start and pulls you right inside. An outstanding song is ‘Quelque Jour’, which is sung in English and French. The music remains in the background drawing your attention to the lyrics which tell of a rather disturbing story of a woman running away from a man. Even though the music itself never really takes over your full attention ,its old fashioned feel , which is created by creeping sounds breaking through a piano and drums, takes the whole story way back into the past with great conviction. Another very strong song is ‘New Girl’. With atmospheric sounds and a very stylish tune the song completely immerses you. It tells of a sweet love affair. Siobhan sings the words with the highest dedication with her voice echoing in the background. The following song ‘The Visit’ is soft in sound and similarly sweet. Bitterness, however, soon comes with a track called ‘Touch Me’. “What’s the meaning of your silence? Could this be the end? There is a time for conversation. You don’t even touch me” speaks Siobhan to her loved one with her voice bleeding with pain, desperation and fear of loss. The music has an equally dark blue feel to it resulting in a very moving and emotive song. ‘Beyond The Fur’ takes you back to the beginning and brings a more airy and light-headed feeling and redemption against all the feelings of sins to which you have been exposed. The very last track ‘Close The World’ has a very fragile tune with a piano leading and guitars only occasionally stepping in and out of the background. Finally the song and the whole album drift away disappearing somewhere high up in the sky. Perhaps it would be wrong to compare ‘Russian Doll’ to a love affair. Listening to it many many times I can honestly say it’s definitely become love and I definitely can’t see a single reason why I should be hiding it from you.

Track Listing:-
1 Never Enough
2 Quelque Jour
3 My Baby Was a Cheat
4 New Girl
5 The Visit
6 You
7 Touch Me
8 Innocent
9 Beyond the Furr
10 Close the World

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