Whale
(Copyright © 1999 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions - Termini d'uso )

We Care , 6/10
All Disco Dance Must End In Broken Bones , 6/10
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Whale is a Swedish trio led by singer Cia Berg. They debuted with the single Pay For Me. The album We Care (Virgin, 1995) made waves mainly because of the frankly sexual lyrics (I'll Do Ya, Young Dumb And Full Of Cum, the lesbian fantasy Eurodog), but the music was no less frank and original, an artistic blend of sensual crooning, hip-hop beats, heavy-metal guitars, sing-along folk tunes and rock and roll tempos drenched in gloomy atmospheres. Hobo Humpin' Slobo Babe became a club hit.

The more varied All Disco Dance Must End In Broken Bones (Virgin, 1998), recorded by a quintet, does not dwell on trip hop. Crying At Airports is the sole specimen, albeit a highly sophisticated one: languid, jazzy keyboard reverbs, intricate rhythm, loud dub bass, electronic noises and a multitude of secondary threads, while Berg's childish whisper mutates into a bullish rap.
What the songs have in common is not style, but technique: their (often trivial) melody is enhanced by a daring sequence of metamorphoses. In a few seconds of Deliver The Juice one witnesses wild scratching, electronic dissonances, flute, orchestra, heavy-metal guitar... while Berg sings her nursery rhyme.
The band runs the gamut from the gentle lullaby Roadkill (that echoes U2's With Or Without You and Velvet Underground's I'll Be Your Mirror over a hypnotic piano and drums beat and spy-thriller twang) to the frantic hip-hop and sharp funk of Four Big Speakers . But the excessive weight of soporiphic ballads sinks the album before it can reach the Velvet Underground-ian peak of 2 Cord Song (with a "oh-la-la" chorus that recalls Kevin Ayers' surreal fantasies).

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