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After disappearing from the scene following Hugo Largo's demise and then resurfacing with her work on Moby's Everything Is Wrong, Goese fully returned to musical work with the lovely, quietly boundary-testing Soak. The most well-known cut, her fascinating reworking of Soundgarden's "Black Hole Sun," certainly deserves attention for its creative transformation of the psych-metal original into a minimal, dreamy spookout. However, that's not the only reason to listen in, as Goese tackles everything from dark, nervous drum'n'bass-tinged ballads to roaring techno-rock and back again. Working with two equally talented producer/instrumentalists Hahn Rowe, past producer/engineer with Hugo Largo itself, and noted French musician Hector Zazou, Goese creates something which carries hints any number of different artists while maintaining its own unique touch. A simplistic comparison, given the various dance nods, might be to Bjork, but a couple of odd hiccups here and there aside Goese's singing is her own classically strong, affecting work, as powerful and self-assured now as it was in the late '80s. "Fire and Roses" really lets her step to the fore, with an amazing chorus sung with sheer, sudden passion while never straining. At points hints of Hugo Largo's own elegantly mysterious rock perhaps unsurprisingly surface, but often transformed rather than re-created -- consider "Clues of You," with its core guitar part matched by electronic rhythms, while further feedback gently floats around the mix like lighted trails of sound. In an interesting guest appearance, ex-Cure member Porl Thompson contributes guitar to the appropriately spacy "Milky Way," though, in fact, the most Cure-like guitar can be heard from Rowe on the theatrical, woozy "I Spy." While Soak isn't in and of itself a groundbreaker, in its fearless and entertaining exploration of a multiplicity of styles it demonstrates Goese's laudable commitment not to simply repeat herself.

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