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Belle Phoenix
The Glorious Dead

Written by Gil T. Plezur

Before I start this review, let me first say I hate singer/songwriters. Now this is just my opinion, and I do realise there are plenty of artists out there who don’t fit into my stereotype, but on the whole I think they are a bunch of whining bloody idiots, whose music is so bad, they have to play all their songs unaccompanied and on acoustic guitar (who can afford an amp when you’re on the dole) because no one wants to listen to, let alone play their music. Imagine then how shocked I was when I found myself actually enjoying Belle Phoenix’s album.

Her songwriting is both original and touching, painting vibrant and melancholy pictures of the world and life in it. The instrumentation of the album is brooding and minimal, just restrained enough to leave Belle’s vocals as the center piece, yet strong enough to act as an evocative foundation for the albums themes and images.

Belle’s voice is the real star of the album in my eyes. While her lyrics are probably the actual standout point of this album, there is something about her voice that just speaks volumes to me. With every utterance, a stream of half-remembered nights, emotional low points and bitter memories of love lost careens into my mind like a drunk driver.

And what makes this so interesting is that I don’t know why it does this. She doesn’t particularly remind me of anyone important to me, nor is her voice what you would call powerful in a classically musical sense. All I can come up with is that her voice carries emotion by the bucket load, offering to the lips of my memory like a hand maiden to a Greek warlord of old.

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