Genres: singer / songwriter, adult alternative
One Little Indian
34 Trinity Crescent
London SW17 7AE, UK
Oct 11 - 17 2004
The most obvious distinction of Sandy Dillon's music is her
young, naive-sounding voice, but it's her wonderful songwriting that
carries this disc. In a similar vein to Portishead and Hooverphonic,
Dillon composes dark, sweeping pop songs strong on both
atmosphere and melody. Few of Nobody Sweetheart's
thirteen tracks depart from the spacey gloom established at the outset.
Sandy Dillon's best work comes when she adds a cinematic,
orchestral layer of sound to the mix. The cleverly-titled "It Must Be
Love," for example, has a wonderfully selected strings sample
pulled from Love's "Red Telephone." Meanwhile, the trip-hoppy
title track is accentuated by some wonderful, Hooverphonic-esque
instrumentation courtesy of Julius Waters. Other
successful songs are based on slow, almost spooky atmospheres.
"Shoreline" is plugged-in and unsettling, while "A Girl
Like Me" has a dark, Morsel-like groove. "Mamma's Backyard," on the other hand, is the album's washy,
organ-led closer; Waters' eerie, faraway strings add a
discordant but moody feel to this song.
Dillon's less gloomy tracks are also quite enjoyable,
but they definitely add a different angle to this record. "Don't
Blame You Now" sounds very sixties-influenced, with a neat Jefferson
Airplane quality to it (think "White Rabbit"), while
"The Stain" has a strong groove and an uplifting
chorus. On the other hand, a few of Nobody's Sweetheart's
songs don't quite match up to its best - "Now You're Mine"
is irritating and too "bad girl"-esque, for example. Amidst all the record's strong
tracks, however, a few lesser
moments are excusable.
Nobody's Sweetheart is the type of record that stays with
you for years. Dillon is a talented, mature songwriter,
and her style is impressively unique. Despite its "adult
alternative" tag, this album should prove universally impressive
- successful wherever true music-lovers dwell.
13 tracks, distributed by the
label, released 2004]