For those of you into the gothic rock scene you may remember the name Daniel Ash from his stint in Bauhaus and then with the formation of Love and Rockets in 1985. That band broke up in 1999 but Ash has continued to keep busy in music although his latest album Stripped is his first since his self-titled effort released in 2002. This is his fourth solo album to date.
For Stripped Ash has decided to rework a few of his songs from Love and Rockets as well as a couple from his band Tones On Tailor and even goes back to his Bauhaus days for one track. The only new tune is the electronic dance music of "Come On". It's an up-tempo rocker that fits in well with the electronic nature of the rest of the tracks.
The disc opens with perhaps the best known Love and Rockets' track "So Alive" with heavy bass synths and spacey electronics. The pulsating electronic beat and repeating synth drones in "Love Me" has given this one a modern EDM vibe as well. The atmospheric guitars heighten the moodiness. The repeating synth line in "Ok, This Is The Pops" is another tune heavy on the bottom end before ending abruptly with an explosion of sound. "All In My Mind" emits darker tones and is a much more somber affair with a densely haunting atmosphere and tasty acoustic guitar rhythms.
The Bauhaus tune "Slice Of Life" is probably my favourite as it has a slightly ominous tone and trippy effects. The heavy synths and guitars ease off giving the track an extra dollop of moodiness. The heavy bass and reggae infused "American Dream" ends the disc with another dose of trippy electronics and distorted guitar chords.
I really liked Stripped as it lies completely outside my listening realm. Cool vocals, synth heavy electronics and tinges of electronica will have alternative music fans begging for more. Good stuff.
1. So Alive
2. Love Me
3. Ok, This Is The Pops
4. All In My Mind
5. Too Much Choice
6. No Big Deal
7. Slice Of Life
8. Mirror People
9. Christian Says
10. Come On
11. There's Only One
12. An American Dream
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