Artist: Sissy
Title: All Under
Label: GU Music
By: Jason Calvert | 16 September 2006
  1. All Under
  2. Start Again
  3. Anyone But You
  4. Wake Up
  5. Imagination
  6. So Long
  7. I See You
  8. In The Dark
  9. Stuck On
  10. Nothing
  11. Cant Save You

Sissy "All Under"Sissy "All Under"

Out Now on GU Music

The comparisons have already been drawn, from Portishead to Sneaker Pimps to Lamb. But in fact what we have here is not simply a band which attempts to join the trip-hop movement. Canadians David Trusz and Johanna Williams bring something new to the genre, blurring the lines between a myriad of downtempo genres with pure skill. Global Underground have taken themselves in a new direction this year, showcasing some material which none of us would have previously associated with the label. Whilst we have seen some quality releases on the label recently, after being severely let down by The Remote's album recently, I wasn't quite sure what to expect on this one. But this ended up being on constant rotation in my car for quite some time; I couldn't seem to let it go. Each listen through I managed to find something new, and the tracks got deeper and deeper.

If the opening and title track isn't enough to captivate you, then I don't know what is. 'All Under' introduces a common theme throughout the album, which is to take blissful leads and pads, along with Johanne's amazing voice, and run them through distortion to create a very interesting effect. As the chorus hits the shivers will run down your spine, just as the beats begin and the album takes off. The dirty and chugging feel on 'Start Again' contrasts the opening track. The heavy processing on all of the instrumentation gives the tracks an added layer of depth, and really demonstrates how heavily tweaked each track is. The long hours put in become evident!

'Anyone But You' comes in on a very positive note, and Girl Nobody instantly came to mind. This leads on well to the smooth feel on 'Wake Up', which when listening to made me feel like I was sitting at the back of a smokey cafe, boasting a true noir feel. Johanne's powerful and unique vocals are brought into the forefront on 'Imitation', which pushes an excellent acoustic guitar lead. It is a very strong track and is definitely one of the stand out moments on the album.

'So Long' is the second single to be taken from the album, with a very strong remix from Andrew Kelly to boot. The haunting track really gets under your skin and is not easily forgotten. 'I See You', the first single from the album should be instantly recognizable, with its futuristic feel and powerful lyrics. The distortion features again here is massive and helps give the track an eerie aura.

'In The Dark' picks up the pace and has a very different feel to the rest of the album. It proves to be very refreshing at this point however, after being bombarded with dark tracks full of distortion, this one seems to rise up above the rest, and it is very memorable. 'Stuck On' is one of the highlights of the album, with its simplistic but captivating piano line. Johanne's voice is especially touching here, and if this track doesn't make you fall in love with the album then something is very wrong!

'Nothing' continues on in similar fashion, but strips things back, before leading to one of the most epic conclusions to an album that I've heard in some time. 'Can't Save You' is easily the best track on the album, is an a truly earth-shattering finale. Emotion oozes from the track, in every element of the music, and especially in Johanne's heart-wrenching vocals/lyrics. This album had already won me over by this point, but as soon as I heard this track the album moved up from being "very good" to "extremely special".

I've shown this album to quite a few people, fans of all different genres, and I am yet to find one person who has not enjoyed the album. It seems that Sissy have crafted something truly astounding here, which has captivated the hearts and minds of a huge spectrum of listeners. Global Underground should be extremely proud of the album, and Sissy deserve no less than to have their album released on the prestigious label. I can't recommend more highly that if you haven't already heard this, to go and check it out. You will truly be missing out otherwise.

Music Reviews -more-