Black Box Recorder
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England Made Me , 4/10
The Facts Of Life , 4/10
Passionoia (2003), 4/10

Black Box Recorder is a trio formed by former Jesus And Mary Chain drummer John Moore, Auteurs vocalist Luke Haines, and vocalist and Nico clone Sarah Nixey. England Made Me (Chrysalis, 1998) did not shake the Brit-pop environment because of its arrangements or of Nixey's sexy delivery, but rather because of the cruel, hyper-realist lyrics (Girl Singing In The Wreckage, and Child Psychology, which was their first single).

Those tedious themes (and gloomy settings) are also central to The Facts Of Life (Chrysalis, 2000), whose (orchestral) arrangements are even more atmospheric (The Art of Driving, The Facts Of Life), bordering on trip-hop without the sex appeal, occasionally redeemed by incursions in Saint Etienne's retro-pop (Weekend)

Passionoia (One Little Indian, 2003) is as empty as its predecessors, although the influence of the Kinks is more evident. Haines browses through pages of British history and tries to pen neorealist vignettes. Unfortunately, the best he can achieve is The School Song, Andrew Ridgley, The New Diana, songs that make one miss the Auteurs.

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