Anna Domino

East & West

  • AllMusic Rating
    7
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by

Following a few months after her 1983 debut single "Trust, in Love," East & West provided the fuller foundations for Anna Domino's later reputation, later sealed by her full self-titled debut in 1985. This effort, though only six songs total, captures much of Domino's ability in essence -- even her penchant for excellent covers. In this latter case the song of choice is Aretha Franklin's "Land of My Dreams," delivered as a cool, post-Martin Hannett/Durutti Column wistful semi-lament. Similarly, the remaining originals are, as is so often the case with Domino, songs both of the moment and recalling earlier eras. More murkily post-punk than much of her later work, songs such as "Everyday, I Don't" and "With the Day Comes the Dawn," with echoed vocals and a low moody crawl that suggests much of the Factory label's early output, give contrast to Domino's distinctly non-goth vocals. Whether for reasons of confidence or preference, she's much deeper in the mix than she would be later, but the effect isn't disconcerting. She's helped, in retrospect, by a striking collection of musicians -- Tuxedomoon's Blaine Reininger on well-chosen saxophone parts, Virginia Astley on piano, Luc Van Acker with various contributions -- and the result, while transitional, is still of interest both to the Domino fan and in its own right. The LTM reissue, in keeping with the label's constant belief of providing as much music as possible, includes a slightly later but still worthy bonus, seven songs from a Japanese date in early 1987 -- one of the first to feature her longtime partner Michel Delory on guitars and programming. Though the liner notes apologize for her cold on the evening affecting her voice, the seven songs are a quietly recorded but still fun treat, culminating in a 12-minute version of "Caught."

blue highlight denotes track pick