Hanin Elias Future Noir

With many modern pop divas showcasing fast-paced beats behind their annoying bullshit, Elias’ brand of sultry music faces tough competition. Putting forth her third solo release, this ex-Atari Teenage Riot front woman embodies sensuality, but does not have the music behind her for this album to be great (despite featuring a guest appearance by Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore). The erotic lyrics in tracks like "City Lights” are admittedly enticing as Elias uses sexuality to draw attention to herself. Then again, beer commercials use the same manipulation tactic, so big deal. The best track offered here is "War (Extreme V4),” an angry, politically-charged piece with a superb electronic backdrop. The unplugged version of "Untouchable” highlights Elias’ vocals more fittingly and maybe this is a better direction for her. After all, why bother toying with synth beats when you evidently are not trying to get people to dance. Still, if you give her a chance Elias’ voice will clutch onto your subconscious. She really does a great job here, but without good songwriting to help her along, her talents are simply wasted. (Cochon)