Dangerous and Moving (Time Out)

Time of publication: 06.10.2005
Faux-lesbian Russian duo return with a dozen great retreads of THAT single

It's been more than two years since the thinking person's Cheeky Girls imploded in a cloud of management bust-ups, on-air lesbian snogs, cancelled arena dates, a failed Eurovision entry and a pregnancy. This comeback album is a marked improvement on 2003's "200 kph in the Fast Lane' in that it ditches the dreary fillers and instead spends most of its 14 tracks trying to replicate the gothic majesty of Trevor Horn's 'All the Things She Said.' That means lovelorn, minor-key power pop, juddering techno drums, bleepy analogue synth effects, symphonic string arrangements (courtesy, bizzarely, of Richard Carpenter), surreal Cossak-dancing breakdowns and some wonderfully sulky adolescent lyrics. 'Cosmos' recalls Depeche Mode at their kinkiest; 'Loves Me Not' sounds like Slayer playing New Order; 'All About Us' suggests classic Abba as rendered by Laibach. Oddly, Trevor Horn's sole contribution - the mid-paced power ballad 'Craving' - is the one track that doesn't sound like Trevor Horn. There is no Smiths cover this time, more's the pity, but one could imagine Morissey singing the rather fine 'Friend Or Foe' (written by - outch! - Dave Stewart and featuring - eek! - Sting on bass). A minor masterpiece.

4 out of 6 stars

John Lewis
Time Out, UK
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