Bat For Lashes
Two Suns


2.0
poor

Review

by Eric USER (161 Reviews)
January 23rd, 2010 | 40 replies | 3,639 views


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Let's leave the alter egos to Beyonce and Bowie, shall we?

Listeners of every variety seem to be enthused by the unstable and the demented, don’t they? David Bowie with an alter ego- Cool! Thom Yorke as an unstable recluse for Kid A... interesting! A heartbroken Justin Vernon alone in the wilderness? Intriguing. The success of these unstable releases from equally mad artists, though, ultimately comes not from the unfortunate condition of the artist, but from the art. Bat For Lashes mastermind Natasha Khan is a bit weird, no offense to the songstress of course. Unfortunately though, Two Suns doesn’t withstand the ambience and minimalism all over it and ends up collapsing in upon itself. Her sophomore album certainly doesn’t fail at creating a lush atmosphere,but the moodiness of Two Suns gets wearisome and (dare I say?) boring after realizing that Bat For Lashes simply doesn’t have enough worthwhile material to make Two Suns an engaging experience. While it might seem interesting at first, after subsequent listens the soft, 80’s-esque music with haunting vocals fails to deliver more than this aspect. The gaping hole in Khan’s work is her inability to create anything worthwhile beneath her ethereal musings and moods.

Don’t get me wrong- it’s easy to appreciate Bat For Lashes knack for creating a haunting atmosphere with sweeping pianos and foggy synth washes, but it’s ultimately the lack of substance that turns this dreamy piece into a nightmare. Let’s begin with the vocals, shall we? The whispery soprano fails to impress for the most part. Bat For Lashes uses her voice alongside the instruments in very similar fashion- the romantic wailing is simply another haunting device in Khan’s large inventory of dreary implements. The vocals are unfulfilling and a bit empty. I’d love to say, “Beneath Khan’s subtle voice lies much more meaning and significance,” but I can’t. The truth is, it feels like beneath her subtle vocals lie- well, nothing intriguing.

The cover of Two Suns is probably just part of some “indie” gimmick to make you think Bat For Lashes is eccentric or quirky, right? Wrong. Bat For Lashes is bat*** crazy, to be honest. For Two Suns she channeled her alter-ego, Pearl. As she whispers away about gypsies, lost love, and the Renaissance Fair or who knows what, I’m reminded that many of the best pieces of art have been created by eccentrics, so I can’t really hold this against Bat For Lashes. On the other hand, I can hold a little more of a gripe with her music. Parallel to her voice, everything feels very soft and subdued. The delicate and simple piano-centered songs like “Peace Of Mind” and “Moon and Moon” are dreary and emotionless. If it wasn’t for the fact that they fit so well on Two Suns, I would think they were just filler. Two Suns as a whole is a product much too fluffy and otherworldly. The vacuous melodies quickly become trite, and my ears feel empty upon listen after listen. The minimalist attitude on Two Suns is bold, but seems to crumble in upon itself when Khan can’t possibly fill this void she’s created. The entire album isn’t devoid of a few golden spots though, as Khan strikes it rich when she goes catchy. “Pearl’s Dream,” uses a catchy synth-line and percussive drive, and it works beautifully. “Daniel” is the other moment in Two Suns that separates itself, and it’s pretty clear what the rest of the album is missing after examining the strong points on Two Suns.

Khan simply doesn’t have a whole lot to offer on Two Suns, and it makes Bat For Lashes come off as an unorganized, dreary, and emotionless affair. While it would perhaps be uncharitable to call it 'boring,' Two Suns comes dangerously close to this point,especially in the pitfalls like “Good Love” or “The Big Sleep." But let's give credit where credit is due, because Bat For Lashes has definitely created a sorrowful experience on Two Suns with an atmosphere that's worth tuning in to. It’s just a shame she couldn’t back up this ambience with the right concoction of percussion, vocals, and substance to make Two Suns a worthwhile experience.



Recent reviews by this author
Mogwai Rave TapesTau Tau Eyelids
Ghost Ship Golden GirlsCrosses EP
Warren Franklin Your Heart Belongs To The MidwestFrightened Rabbit A Frightened Rabbit EP
user ratings (313)
Chart.
3.8
excellent
other reviews of this album
Alex Silveri EMERITUS (4.5)
Right now, Two Suns just may be one of the defining musical moments of 2009....

trending alt & indie albums

El Pintor

AM

The Physical World

To Be Kind

Comments:Add a Comment 
SeaAnemone
January 23rd 2010


20284 Comments


Usually we agree Sputnik- not this time.

Let the neggage commence.

Digging: Natural Snow Buildings - The Night Country

LepreCon
January 23rd 2010


4075 Comments


Yeah this is probably gonna get raped
Its about a 3 for me, but I'll pos

SeaAnemone
January 23rd 2010


20284 Comments


maybe this ISN'T gonna get raped?

BallsToTheWall
January 23rd 2010


44294 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

It's a good album but don't really love it too much either. Daniel is ace however.

Digging: Tiamat - Clouds

SeaAnemone
January 23rd 2010


20284 Comments


Daniel and Pearl's Dream are pretty good, wish the album was full of those songs over and over.

Enotron
January 23rd 2010


7695 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

You're entire third paragraph makes me want to hit something.

Well written, but the content in this review is errrgggg

SeaAnemone
January 23rd 2010


20284 Comments


^expected reaction. I realize my sentiments aren't exactly agreeable to most users, but I try to justify them here.

And why the neg if you say it's well-written?

Enotron
January 23rd 2010


7695 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I didn't neg it.

SeaAnemone
January 23rd 2010


20284 Comments


oh, my bad- I saw a neg and assumed, aka made an ass out of you and me, well, mostly me.

Enotron
January 23rd 2010


7695 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Haha, its no problem.

StreetlightRock
Emeritus
January 23rd 2010


3767 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

pos'd

Digging: Interpol - El Pintor

jrowa001
January 23rd 2010


8750 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

good review even though i find this album to be even better than Fur and Gold. Kahn's vocals just work for me. shes very mesmerizing

SeaAnemone
January 23rd 2010


20284 Comments


Thanks all, I see where you're coming from about the vocals, I feel it's a matter of personal preference.

Gyromania
January 23rd 2010


15680 Comments


I can definitely understand all your points and enjoyed the read. Pos

jrowa001
January 23rd 2010


8750 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

well im a fan of this style of music. like bjork, etc

Gyromania
January 23rd 2010


15680 Comments


You rated the Fountain OST 5/5, so I basically love you

jrowa001
January 23rd 2010


8750 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

it is an amazing soundtrack for a great movie. Clint Mansell is a wonderful composer and i am a regular follower of the Kronos Quartet

Gyromania
January 23rd 2010


15680 Comments


Same here, and I really like Mogwai.

jrowa001
January 23rd 2010


8750 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

i dont listen to much Mogwai but what i have heard is good

mvdu
January 23rd 2010


605 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This album is pretty good, but the vocals really elevate it. Just a difference of opinion, so I won't neg.



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2014 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy