Anna Domino

Colouring in the Edge and the Outline

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The pleasant but often meandering tunes that spoiled Anna Domino's American debut, This Time, had been left far behind by the time she recorded this vastly superior follow-up. Each of the five tightly focused efforts on this EP is a small gem, as Domino and frequent collaborator Michel Delory offer several successful variations on their usual introspective synth pop. "Luck" is a wry meditation on why some people have it and others don't set to a gently funky groove, and "Clouds of Joy" is adrift on layer after layer of vocals, turning the simple melody into an expression of bliss. Best of all is the evocative "88," where Domino summons images of "radiant and terrified" angels above a throbbing sequencer pulse. And while the songs have improved, so has their presentation; sensitive arranging puts Domino's fragile voice front and center on every track, even though she rarely rises above a whisper, while the instrumentation is much more natural sounding than on any of her earlier works. In all, Colouring in the Edge and the Outline was a near-perfect package that made the best case for Domino's singular talents.

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