Love Sick

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Love Sick Review

by Paul Simpson

Love Sick is the first CD/LP release by TALsounds, the solo project of Good Willsmith's Natalie Chami, following numerous cassettes and a split 7". As with her previous recordings, all of the songs were edited from improvisations utilizing an arsenal of electronics as well as her classically trained voice. Compared to her previous outings, Love Sick is Chami's pop album, as most of the songs are concise pieces rather than sprawling jams. The album isn't exactly filled with hooks, however; the track times are short, but these are still in-the-moment expressions rather than structured compositions. Chami's vocals are at the front and center of all 12 songs, and while lyrics aren't always discernable, her singing seems like more than just another texture. While there's no overdubbing, she duets with herself via looping devices, and her layered vocals recall the gauzy intimacy of Björk's Vespertine, but without directly trying to ape her trademark eccentricities. On the album's emotional high points, such as "11:11," Chami's operatic vocals billow over slow, thudding beats. "My Side My Sign" is a lovely ballad with a sleepwalking rhythm, and the song most likely to soundtrack a sad slow dance. The album never quite gets abrasive, but the oscillations seem to scrunch up a bit tighter on closing track "Stories," which ends abruptly with Chami's confession "I don't want to tell the story anymore 'cause you're gone." Drowsy yet emotionally alert, Love Sick is the most accessible TALsounds release yet, while still sounding like it was recorded inside a cloud.

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