Siouxsie

God, it's good to have Siouxsie back. Not that she really went anywhere; since dissolving the Banshees after 1995's Rapture, the Goth goddess has recorded and toured with former side project Creatures, re-formed the Banshees for a spell and now—peek-a-boo!—released her first proper solo album. Sassy, sophisticated pop, Mantaray slinks around the fringes of Siouxsie's catalog and struts onto the dance floor for the marimba-laced "Loveless" and electro-rocker "About to Happen." "They Follow You" has more than a hint of "Kiss Them for Me," but the rest of Mantaray moves to the chill-out room, sometimes too much so. Siouxsie's critique of consumerism, "Drone Zone," has a little trouble finding a pulse, and buzzy Bo Diddley beat "One Mile Below" just sort of hovers in place. But "If It Doesn't Kill You" is a postmodern torch song like Portishead in their prime; Siouxsie, her voice both cautionary and enticing, could show Amy Winehouse a thing or two. Speaking of, the brassy, John Barry-like swing of "Here Comes That Day" makes it hard to believe Ms. Sioux hasn't been tapped to record a James Bond theme. Chris Cornell? Sheryl Crow? Please. With Bond 22 now in the works, someone sign Siouxsie up.

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Chris Grey