Hush Hush


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Punctuated by an ambient backdrop and a vocal style recalling Sarah McLachlan, the duo that comprises Hush Hush offers one ethereal trip-hop adventure after another. Both Nina Loretto and Keri Steel support each other while a remix-like atmosphere encapsulates each song, including the trance-like opener of "Saving Grace." On other tunes, there is more of a jazz or funk groove being played out on tracks like "Sweep," with both singers giving a more breathy performance. Bands such as Wild Strawberries are apt comparisons when listening to very single- and radio-friendly tunes such as "Sell You Short" and "So High Tonight." Unfortunately, the attempted cover on a trademark song such as the Brian Wilson-penned "God Only Knows" is far too watered down to be given credibility. Despite the miscue, though, the group perseveres in a tension-builder titled "Tease Me," which has an industrial-like feel also in its chorus and bridge. A touch of Celtic music rears its head in "It Would Be Nice," but stretches itself too thin, moving into a global, world music niche that doesn't work well. Rarely does the album move from a trip-hop beat, but the nakedness of "Wait for You to Notice" makes the listener take notice for how gorgeous the harmonies here are.

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