Lene Lovich | SHADOWS AND DUST

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Pop: New Wave Rock: Goth Moods: Mood: Weird
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SHADOWS AND DUST

by Lene Lovich

The Grand Goth Duchess of punk rock's premier label, Stiff Records, Lene Lovich has returned with her first full length studio album in 15 years (from the review in "The Gazz".
Genre: Pop: New Wave
Release Date: 

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Tracks

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1. Craze
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4:24 album only
2. Shape Shifter
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4:30 album only
3. Sanctuary
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4:08 album only
4. Remember
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4:09 album only
5. Gothica
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5:00 album only
6. Ghost Story
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3:52 album only
7. The Insect Eater
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6:06 album only
8. Little Rivers
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4:34 album only
9. The Wicked Witch
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4:09 album only
10. Light
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4:02 album only
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Lene's ˜Shadows And Dustâ" CD was released September 12 2005, celebrated by her classic return (after many years) performance at Joe's Pub, New York City, the day before. As with her earlier efforts in the early eighties which were launched into near-earth orbit by her impact through Stiff Records, the mainstream media hasn't really noticed yet. While we hold our breath waiting for Rupert Murdoch's personal approval, we appreciate these reviews from the progressive set, on- and off-line. Lene is such a special character and artist that her essence can't be captured in short sound bites. Let others tell the story:

Time Out New York
The oddest inhabitant of the Stiff Records stable circa 1978, Detroit-born chanteuse Lene Lovich caused a stir with the theatrical pop she crafted with partner Les Chappell, but quickly faded from view. ˜Shadows And Dust", a new release on veteran producer Mike Thorne's Stereo Society label, reveals Lovich to be as gleefully off-kilter as ever. The album is a brilliantly giddy crush of goofy Goth and rubbery funk; Chappell and Thorne also make it a sonic spectacular.

Alt.Culture Guide (Eric Saeger)
A cross between Siouxsie, the Dresden Dolls and the soundtrack to "Wicked" -- yes, the planet needs much, much more of this. With the '80s revival in full swing, it's time to give this princess of Goth the credit she may have missed out on back in the Stiff Records days: "Lucky Number" was arguably the transcendent look at schmuck-class love -- its implication that any dice-roll in the hay can result in finding one's soul-mate makes it almost worth hitting the clubs to this day. Fast-forward to "Shadows And Dust" and Lene's still the same Siouxsie-like space shot with the same Siouxsie-like dark-chocolate-and-yodel disaffection, but this time she's armed with sequencers, a deepened sense of theater and one or two block-rockin beats. "Craze" starts things off with a swirl of black silk and back-of-hand-to-forehead seduction that soon escalates into a patented Elvira vs Frankenstein anti-hook. "Shape-Shifter" sets all phasers to Extra Weird in a largely successful powwow between Destiny's Child and Spike Jones, after which the off-Broadway hysterics of "Remember" bemoan Lene's romantic misfire du jour. In case it needs to be said, sketched-out Halloween spirits never go wanting for long – ‘Gothica’ and ‘The Wicked Witch’ are worth their weight in strychnine-flavored candy corn, subordinate only to the bug-eyed Andrew Lloyd Webber-style ‘The Insect Eater’. in which our gal turns into an earwig-gobbling Renfield before your very ears.

Harp Magazine (Richard Riegel)
The easy ethnic take on Lene Lovich during the heady days of New Wave was that she was part-Serbian, leading to aged Boris & Natasha routines in media organs like me own ‘Creem’. Not that Lovich couldn't be a Slav to fashion, as her still-smashing 1979 debut, ‘Stateless’, predicted the better aspects of the coming decade in its darkly Danubian dance tracks. But all that Serb's-up jive neglected the fact that Lovich is also half-English in ancestry and has spent most of her life in Britain, where her birded-out vocal mannerisms, her wide-eyed dedication to animal rights and her singular costumes (her odd headgear has only grown more layered over the years, as though her brain is an irritant oyster busily trying to coat with pearl) likely enable her to blend right into her Norfolk neighborhood.

It helps to think of Lovich as a classically English eccentric before slipping into ‘Shadows and Dust’, her first new-material album since 1990's ‘March’, as the first few tracks, though musically respectable (as always, husband/collaborator Les Chappell and many synthesizers are aboard) have a kind of ponderous, curdled weirdness that speaks of navel-grazing out on the moonlit moors. (Either that, or maybe of Lovich listening to screeching voicemails from her longtime pal Nina Hagen, she of avant-bombast musical renown.) ‘Shadows and Dust’ starts to pick up kinetic steam about midway through, in ‘Gothica’ and ‘Craze,’ and then ‘Insect Eater’ really scorches the rocket cottage with Lovich's repeated shrieks of ‘Earwigs in my bed at midnight!’ underlined with luscious keyboard burbles. ‘Wicked Witch’ has a cartoon-funny car rush that suggests the beloved playing-hooky riddims of Lovich's early songs, and it reflects quite well on the balance of this charmingly and eccentrically back-loaded album.

The Gazz (Rudy Panucci)
The Grand Goth Duchess of punk rock's premier label, Stiff Records, Lene Lovich has returned with her first full length studio album in 15 years. In the interim, besides raising a family, she worked on film and theater projects, as well as recording the PETA anthem ‘Don't Kill The Animals’ with fellow Bizarro Diva, Nina Hagen.

‘Shadows And Dust’ is shocking in that Lovich seems not to have missed a beat. She sounds just as wonderfully strange as ever. Generally, when an artist as eccentric and enigmatic as Lovich disappears for an extended period, their return is a disappointment. Not so with Lene Lovich. This new album is as delightfully odd as the best of her music from decades ago. This Czechoslovakian princess (actually from Detroit), wears her surrealistic influences on her sleeve. You can hear traces of Brecht, DEVO and Van Der Graaf Generator in her crisply composed songs about living life happily in the shadows. This CD is a primo slab of mutant cabaret music.

Recorded at her home studio, with her longtime collaborator, husband Les Chappell playing most of the instruments, ‘Shadows And Dust’ sounds like a fresh blast from the new wave heyday of the early 1980s. They say that the best music in the world is whatever you're listening to when you're between the ages of fifteen and twenty, and for me this is it. I would have worn this album out on vinyl had it existed back in the dark ages of the Reagan regime. I guess the time is right for new music to inspire non-conformists.

With song titles like ‘Ghost Story,’ ‘Wicked Witch,’ ‘Gothica’ and ‘Insect Eater,’ you can see that Lovich is still in tune with the Hot Topic crowd. ‘Wicked Witch,’ with its driving synthesizer and Lovich's patented operatic hiccup vocals is a standout track that recalls DEVO (at one point, her label mates in the UK on Stiff Records). ‘Gothica’ is a new anthem for creepy misfits everywhere. ‘Shape Shifter’ manages to take a hip-hop beat and twist it into a perfect vehicle for Lovich's offbeat musical magic.

If you're a fan of Siouxsie and the Banshees, then you need to check out Lene Lovich, for the pure unadulterated sound of a woman on a wild musical mission. Siouxsie copped most of her vocal and musical style from Lovich, but she watered it down. On ‘Shadows And Dust’ Lene Lovich has reclaimed her crown as the leading purveyor of love songs for the weird. The album can be ordered directly from The Stereo Society.

VenusZine (Charlotte Robinson)
The Detroit-born, Britain-bred Lene Lovich rode high on the crest of new wave in the early '80s, scoring the hit ‘Lucky Number,’ and releasing three albums on Stiff Records. After her initial run, Lovich largely disappeared, reemerging briefly for a Nina Hagen duet in 1986 and an album four years later.

Now in her mid-50s, Lovich is back with her first solo album in 15 years. Working with longtime collaborator Les Chappell and producer Mike Thorne (Wire, Soft Cell), Lovich has created an album with an updated sound and a darker edge. She's still in fine voice, but eschews the poppy new wave sound of her classic debut, ‘Stateless’, in favor of industrial-influenced keyboards that sound more like they belong in the early ’90s than 2005. That's less a criticism than an observation, and these somewhat Goth, vaguely Siouxsie-like songs work well with Lovich's vocal range.

Lovich's flair for drama works particularly well on two tales of lost love. On ‘Remember’ she sings, ‘We agreed to dissolve, disappear, to risk all for the sake of love / I only know you didn't show.’ On ‘Little Rivers’ she laments, ‘Well maybe you're right / What's dead deserved to die / But somehow we should have tried / Tried to believe in life.’ On ‘Wicked Witch,’ she glides along with manic glee, pausing only for a few evil laughs.

Full of titles like ‘Ghost Story,’ ‘Gothica,’ and ‘Insect Eaters,’ Shadows and Dust is a dark, dramatic disc. What's surprising is how well it works.


Reviews


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B. Lienard

Shadows and Dust
Lene's music and voice are stille unique!!! So good to hear she has taken up recording again! And hope to hear a lot more from her in the future!

Will

Lene returns with a yet another classic album in a style much her own
Lene Lovich returns from yet another long disappearance from the music scene, her muse seems to have fully awakened and the creative juices flow as if no hiatus occurred. Lene's unique style unfortunately places her in her own World. Here, in her 50's she sounds as if she in still in her 20's! And that may be its undoing... don't get me wrong. the songs are good and paint strong images... but I for one would like to see her mellow out more gracefully. At least three of the songs seem to me over the top, manic and somewhat noisy compared to the other maturer songs. The overblown ones, Gothica, Wicked Witch, and Insect Eater are on their own fun little gems but perhaps should be on a halloween disc or ep seperately, but thrown in the mix here they seem almost instrusive. I now skip these songs when listening to the cd because of their over zealous nature. Lene, you and Les are a fountain of creativity... lets hear more mature ventures in the future... such as the songs Remember, Little Rivers and Craze, the last one about as wild as you need to get for us older fans. Light, although frantic tempo, is a fun affair with its Sci-fi keyboard/vocal mix, emmitting almost a B-52's sound here and there. Lene has no ordinary voice box - together with Les's programming make one odd Gothic pair of independent yet extraordinary music makers! In a world where everything SOUNDS the same they are a welcomed creative force! Lene and Les - we want more, more, more!

David Clark

Lene Lovich "Shadows and Dust" Review
I must admit I listened to this CD three times before it really clicked with me.Lene Lovich sounds terrific and the songs are excellent.Shapeshifter is my favorite with Gothica, Insect Eater and Ghost being the standout favorites to me.The songs are creativley written and fit in well as modern New Wave Gothic sound.Incredible Keyboards and synthesizer sounds create a dreamy mood sound that is comparible to a great Sci Fi or Horror film movie soundtrack.The CD is also nicely packaged with a great cover and booklet of additional photos and lyrics.
I am very pleased with this CD, Lene Lovich is legendary.

Josephine Halby

Shadows and Dust
Lene's album Shadows and Dust did not disappoint. It is a fantastic album. Her lyrics as always cut thru to the soul. fantastic!!

patrick stahel

LENE
After beiing a truly long term fan forever (I mean she did & will



from Pat Switzerland (aged 42 & still pretty!!)

LENE was my live-saver when I had to go in a catholic school at age 14. it was 1980, only her STATELESS & FLEX helped me through it. I saw the video from "Bird Song" on TV. When we had to go to church; I put on that same make-up onto my face & as the organ started to play I ran out the same way as she did in the video! It was as scandal!

My better scoolmates loved "UNBEHAGEN" from Nina Hagen but I did educate them already: How the hell invaded this style??? It was LENE not NINA, she simply copied it from her! They all had to agree!

My review on her album "SHADOW & DUST":

It is wonderful but extremely difficult. There is no pause of breath in it. I found myself totally exhausted in it. The melodies are again soo perfect, but MIKE THORNE did not his best job with all his experience in producing. I think it's overproduced' to much pressure in it consulting the listener. The Track-list is not subtle enough. Her eeire & therefore poetic & mystic side of her beeing is not enough lighted. It's a wonderful but too hectic record after all - the balance misses. On "March" (1989) was that so perfect.
But again it is truly a great record!

Pat (Switzerland)

Jennifer

This is Her Best
Was impressed when I opened this, First new music from my Fave Lady artist ever. From Flex, Stateless, No Mans Land to this, WOW never a let down.

Steve HAmbleton

Shadows & Dust
I've been a fan of Lene since I saw her perform in Sheffield, UK in 1978. This new album is as good as, if not better than, any of her previous releases. If I had to select any highlights, and that's not an easy task, I would say Insect Eater and The Wicked Witch, but every track on here is a gem. Great to hear one of a few truly unique performers in action once again.

MoJo JoJo


Lene is so unique. Glad she's back with another CD.