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Kiss in the Dreamhouse [Bonus Tracks] ()

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A Kiss in the Dreamhouse shows Siouxsie and the Banshees backpedalling a bit from their excellently forthright predecessor, Juju, to update the more avant-garde stylings of Kaleidoscope. This album is in fact the Banshees' crowning glory in this experimental vein. Production and arrangements are highly varied and accomplished, and Sioux's singing by now is excellent, capable of imaginative shadings and free of its former tunelessness. "Obsession" is scored for chimes, overdubbed breathing, swallowed synthesizer sounds, strings, and very occasional guitar touches; this all supports a fine vocal with lyrics about the speaker's fixation on her object of desire. "Green Finger" is a driving, up-tempo number with Joy Division melodic bass, sparkling synthesizer touches, and wacky recorder tootlings. "Painted Bird" features a full helping of multi-tracked vocals propelled by a drumbeat that is alternately skittering and thumping; portions of this song suggest a nightmare version of Fleetwood Mac's "Go Your Own Way." "Cocoon" is best characterized as mutant bopping jazz with an often breathy, cooing vocal. "She's a Carnival" and "Slowdive" suggest eccentric stabs at mainstream acceptance, the former being a comparatively gutsy and forthright rocker, the latter a violin-colored dance beat number with hints of New Order or David Bowie that is a catchy melodic hook away from being the real thing. This fine platter is well worth purchasing. [Polydor's 2009 U.K. reissue added four bonus tracks: 12" mixes of "Fireworks" and "Slowdive", and demos for "Painted Bird" and "Cascade".] ~ David Cleary, Rovi Hide synopsis

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