Human Drama

World Inside

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    8
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AllMusic Review by

The contrast between Feel and The World Inside wasn't quite night and day, but compared to the ruinous mainstream gloss and semi-metal wank of the debut, The World Inside was the album that truly showed why Human Drama was a special band, with Indovina toning things down while increasing the dark, enthralling power of the music as a whole. Produced by Indovina along with percussionist Charles Bouis, the album features a greatly expanded studio lineup revolving around the core of Indovina, Bouis, and Rita D'Albert, who handles guitar and, notably, flute. Her abilities on the latter, plus Indovina's and guitarist Carlo Bartolini's own skill with string arrangements, make for a much-better texturing of the band's work overall, while overall the sound is much more lush and involved, dramatic without being overbearing. Much of the album is in fact acoustic, relying on the combination of Indovina's gently ringing guitar and violin and cello by various players to set the quietly majestic tone, backed by Bouis' strong but not rampaging drumming (another definite improvement over Feel's slick punch). An effective showcase of this overall combination is the stunning "The World Inside II," containing all the personal passion familiar from earlier work but simply succeeding so much more, Indovina's voice truly a wonder, the blend of music a focused dramatic miniature. Other fine numbers include "Fascination and Fear," with a worthy guest vocal turn from L.A. goth legend Patrick Mata of Kommunity FK, and the involving "Color Me Red." Two absolute highlights made up both sides of an associated single, one being an affecting cover of Marianne Faithfull's "Times Square" that doesn't quite equal the original in impact, but gets very close indeed. Meanwhile, "This Tangled Web" is the centerpiece of the album, fragile synths adding to Indovina's best vocal turn (and some fine romantic lyrics to boot) and a lovely full-band performance.

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