Monochrome

Collapse & Sever

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One sure way to make EBM more interesting is to get rid of the self-consciously glowering male singers and replace them with soaring, tuneful female singers; if done right, the resulting combination of dark electronic textures and bright vocal flourishes can yield all kinds of rewarding musical combinations and juxtapositions. Mono Chrome -- a duo project by cut.rate.box's Clint Sand and Claire Voyant's Victoria Lloyd -- does it right on this debut album. Their overall sound will be familiar to aging Depeche Mode and Erasure fans -- synthetic and occasionally robotic, but far more tuneful and less confrontational than that of, say, Front 242 or KMFDM. Collapse & Sever features a number of very fine songs, including the nicely funky "Thunder" and the slow, despairing "This Death." Assemblage23's remix of "Riveted" doesn't offer much additional insight into the original version, but the original version is another album highlight. Recommended.

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