Run with Eric + pretty

Albums Of The Decade: #25

Two Suns - Bat For Lashes [2009]

Two Suns, like Natasha Khan aka Bat For Lashes herself, is one of those irritating creations I can't describe very well for people who haven't heard it.

This is, as I'm sure you appreciate, a pretty poor state of affairs for someone donning the cloak of reviewer, but in a way I'd rather that than reel off a string of words and phrases that make no sense - like 'soundscapes', which I find myself using more than I'd like in describing music such as this.

Musically, Two Suns is awash with beauty (bollocks, failed already). I've heard the genre described as 'dream pop', and while I can't say with any certainty what that is, it sounds about right - listening to Two Suns is like watching psychedelic colours appear before your eyes and dance in no particular pattern (argh).

Synesthaetic balls aside, it provides a perfect backdrop for Khan's amazing vocals.

Her voice is quite simply beautiful, so much so you can easily excuse the slightly presumptuous decision to begin the album with almost unbacked vocals (yeah, Matt Bellamy couldn't get away with that). Opening track Glass is, as it happens, possibly the best song on Two Suns and certainly the best example of her singing. Hell, I'd love her a capella.

Other highlights include choir-backed Peace Of Mind, Good Love and in particular Sleep Alone, one of the few songs to feature a really thumping chorus; most offerings are much more subtle, and better for it. Sleep Alone benefits, though, from the emphatic treatment: it's like remixing Björk into an indie floorfiller.

I can't pretend to understand Two Suns - apparently it's a concept album about her alter ego, Pearl - but fortunately I don't have to pretend to like it. Warmly superb and fully deserving of its Mercury nomination, it's undeniable proof second albums don't have to be difficult.

Not sure about her decision to let Scott Walker warble over the end, though.

Spotify link.

Freedom, Life, Music, and more:

Albums Of The Decade: #25 + pretty