Swing Out Sister

Somewhere Deep in the Night

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From their inception in 1985, Swing out Sister expressed love for the lush soft pop, soul, and soundtracks of the 1960s and early '70s. Vocalist Corinne Drewery and keyboardist Andy Connell were singing the praises of Burt Bacharach, Jimmy Webb, and John Barry back when those great artists were thought to be the definition of square and unhip. Now that those same artists are revered (and widely sampled and copied) by mainstream and alternative musicians alike, Swing out Sister may be regarded as following, rather than leading, the retro-pack of modern lounge music-makers. Somewhere Deep in the Night is a very strong album from the duo, packed full of sweeping, melancholy tunes that echo Bacharach or Webb, while the album is held together by lush instrumental themes that seem straight out of a '60s soundtrack album by Barry or Quincy Jones. (In keeping with this theme, the album art even features the comely Drewery wearing the same groovy jumpsuit that Diana Rigg made famous on The Avengers, the show that defined Britain in the swinging '60s.) That said, Swing out Sister brings plenty of their own musical ideas and long-held style to the table and continues to show that they've grown as songwriters over the years. Somewhere Deep in the Night is a rich album, but it uses its sumptuous, melodramatic arrangements to sugar rather bleak songs of confusion and lost love (the best of which are "Where the Hell Did I Go Wrong" and "Where Do I Go?"), rather than simply dazzle the listener with retro-schmaltz. Indeed, the album grows deeper with each spin instead of just making you curious about the old records that were Swing out Sister's original inspirations.

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