Sissy All Under

It would be naïve to ignore comparisons between Sissy and the early ’90s Bristol trip-hop movement, a sound spawned by the likes of Tricky, Lamb and Portishead. The haunting soundscapes that infected the music back then are prominent here with similarly disjointed slow breaks offset against dissonant harmonies. The eerie vocals of Johanne Williams are reminiscent of the enchantment captured by Beth Gibbons and Louise Rhodes with powerful lyrics to match, but with a voice distinct enough to carry its own identity. The filters that are used intermittently on the vocal are somewhat abused at times with "Start Again,” "Stuck On” and the first single "I See You” faltering in that respect. "Anyone But You” plods along from start to finish with little imagination, but aside from these few misguided sections the album is a compelling listen. Williams’s partner David Trusz is responsible for most of the instrumentation on the album. The piano on first track "All Under” sets the mood elegantly, the acoustic guitar on "Imagination” is subtly understated and the ’80s synths on "In the Dark” are disgustingly perfect. Just as Williams manages with her voice, Trusz prevents the Sissy sound from falling down a copycat black hole and creates an up to date take on a genre that was often considered ahead of its time. (Global Underground)