This is a solid set of songs from Clare Quilty with their third record, Face the Strange. This is a thinking man (womans?) pop/rock music that takes a while to sink in. The first few times I played it, it was just OK. The more I played it, the more I liked it. (Then again, maybe…regrettably…I'm not a thinking man)
The music leans toward trip-hop territory but the vocals are sung not rapped so there goes that category. Singer Jenn Rhubright doesn't sing as much as lets the notes flow from her, almost as though she speaks that way…not vocalizes. There is a laid-back delivery and quality to the music that almost suckers you into complacency. Those that stick with it, though, will be well rewarded.
The first cut, "Sad Untitled #1" slow-sambas its way out of the speakers with an almost hypnotic gait that seems like it's a cobra doing the swaying motion to paralyze you before striking. There's a Suzanne Vega vibe to it somehow, as well if you can extrapolate those two launching points.
One of the best cuts on the record is "Breathe". Another mesmerizing rhythm percolates along before awakening for the fine chorus. "Numb", the follow-up, is almost pixie-ish (as in cute and earnest, not the band) in its delivery.
"Beautiful Lies" is in the running for the standout cut. It's a bit more straightforward than the others, and it has a nice bit of Pink Floyd "Breathe"-type guitar throughout.
The rest of the cuts alternate between mid-tempo rockers and electro-tinged groove-fests. The lyrics are all above the norm, as they are rife with good description; "A nest of fine pink desert sand in the hollow of my chest", "The hunger that's in your eyes intoxicates my dread".
The only cut that, to my ears, didn't work was the cover of Bowie's "Rebel Rebel". They slowed it right down and made it seem like a lethargic shadow of its former self.
Included in the package is a second CD with remixes to three or four of the cuts.
Clare Quilty, by the way, is a character from the novel/movie, "Lolita". Sleepy, unassuming and deceptive. This record will sneak up on you, if you give it a chance.