Oxford Brookes University
Maybe [a]Godspeed You Black Emperor[/a] need a voice for hire....
That's no surprise, but it means her songs, fragile enough on album, have to stick up for themselves. There's no electronic flourishes on hand as back-up. That Beth has charisma helps the cause. She's human enough to cock up songs and laugh about it, but she never lapses into over-familiarity, she has a pop star's aura. She also has a voice, limpid but lived in, that could melt the hardest heart.
But when it comes to the songs, it's all a little too safe. Set opener 'Stolen Car' promises a rocky road, but too quickly melts into coffee-table anonymity. Much of the set sounds like Sinead O'Connor if she had all her marbles intact. Indeed, tonight's highlight, 'She Cries Your Name', even shares a similar ghost-town emptiness to Sinead's own 'Jackie'.
Beth's melancholy is never so maudlin that it'd spoil someone's entrie, and a billion unit-shifting future seems assured, but you end up wishing that she'd just do something to fuck it all up big time. Maybe Godspeed You Black Emperor! need a voice for hire.
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