Danielle Dax

Inky Bloaters

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After a nearly hermetic approach on her first two albums, Dax opened things up a bit on Inky Bloaters by recording with a band and sharing songwriting credits with David Knight. The resulting sound is "bigger" and more commercial than her previous work, with many songs taking on the traits of the guitar-driven dance-pop that ruled the airwaves in the '80s. The funky "Big Hollow Man" takes a page from Prince, while "Flashback" could almost be a Blondie single. While undeniably catchy, more conventional arrangements date some of this material in a way that her earlier idiosyncratic efforts avoided. Still, on the best tracks (like the sitar-infused "Where the Flies Are"), Dax's voice remains distinctive.

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