Marc Almond

Tragedy [Single]

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An astonishing highlight from the equally strong Open All Night album, "Tragedy" is concrete proof that Almond's singing and songwriting abilities aren't leaving with age -- if anything, they're getting stronger. With a descending chord progression slyly hinting at his glam-rock fandom, haunting strings his goth connections, and a shuffling, mysterious beat his current trip-hop fascination, Almond with Neal X creates a wonderful picture of "a survivor in the face of adversity" that ends up feeling inspiring and forward-looking. "Beautiful Losers," which ended up on the American issue of Open All Night, mixes an intentionally rough rhythm loop in a very Portishead-like way with a moody, low arrangement and Almond's own calm toast to life on the edge. Another version of the energetic "Black Kiss," the "hard vocal mix," concludes the single with an inspired revamp, Henrique da Silva's backing vocals given new prominence in an echoing cut-up over the hard house beats and synths.

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