Voltaire

Then and Again

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    7
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AllMusic Review by

Smirking goth crooner Voltaire gets "serious" on Then and Again, an album that showcases his strong songwriting and one of the best sets of pipes that ever wrapped themselves around dark material. Voltaire hasn't totally abandoned humor -- it's hard to imagine he ever could -- but Then and Again isn't as concerned with making Hot Topic customers giggle as it is with delivering full songs. The opening "Crusade," with its father/son subject matter, the non-ironic cover of the Cure's "Lovesong," and the Renaissance throwback "Goodnight Dragonslayer" should be added to any longtime fan's "best-of" list and could actually turn Mom and Dad into Voltaire fanatics. Acoustic guitars and string quartets make the album all the more approachable, while Voltaire's lyrics get deep and offer vivid pictures of heartbreak, family, and personal reflection. Then and Again is surprisingly warm, organic, and fully formed, and an album worthy of both Peter Murphy and the Incredible String Band. Good times and warm fuzzies for the 21st century goth.

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