Her Space Holiday Manic Expressive

Her Space Holiday is the pseudonym for Marc Bianchi, who also owns the record label Audio Information Phenomena. Her Space Holiday jumped from obscurity to relative obscurity with the release of their previous album, Home Is Where You Hang Yourself, which found its way onto several year-end "best of" lists. So there was a certain amount of anticipation for the follow-up, Manic Expressive. For the most part, it is just straightforward pop music, hidden under a wealth of strings and some blips and bleeps, containing all the necessary components to help the band find a more mainstream audience and suggesting that there might even be some deliberate calculation to the whole endeavour. Most of the songs are either sweet love songs or songs that tell of the aftermath of a relationship's end, which is hardly surprising, considering Bianchi's similar circumstance at the time of recording. It does mean that Manic Expressive has a melancholy feel verging on bleak, at times. The songs tend to be a little on the long side, and despite the fact that the entire album only clocks in at 42 minutes it feels like a lot longer because of a second half that contains most of the weaker material. But as a whole, this is one of those records that creeps up on you slowly and definitely gets better with subsequent listens. Manic Expressive might not be as successful an album as its predecessor, but it does reaffirm Bianchi's position as the Badly Drawn Boy of electronica. (Tiger Style)