[sic] Magazine

The Irrepressibles – Nude

This album is theatrical and emotional but not without a playful side. As much as it revels in the pathos of torch singers like Anthony Hegarty and Scott Walker it nods to Erasure , Tears For Fears and Eurobeat on occasions. Nude arrives with the mournful violin piece ‘Time Passing’. The outrageously sensual ‘Pale Sweet Healing’ follows and we are presented with something magical AND earthy – chimes, rousing percussion and choral harmonies back soaring vocals from Jamie McDermott .

‘To Be’ is more like the twisted lounge lizard Bryan Ferry of ‘In Every Dream Home A Heartache’. A treacle-slow torch song, it is full of the most agonising desire. A desire that engulfs it and is finally lead away by a string ensemble like the Dead Rat Orchestra, the strings becoming more cinematic and sad with a funeral drum and oboe. All the while Jamie’s voice is a physical presence in the mix, larger than life. The mid-point comes with the soaring soul baring exultation of ‘Two Men In Love’ perfectly mirroring the terrifying and marvellous revelation you have when you accept the greater power of love.

The second half is big and bold with an obvious single ‘Arrow’, possibly love song to a pale Saint Sebastian a popular image of male beauty with gay associations at least since Derek Jarman ‘s film (but no doubt for many hundreds of years!). A prelude leads to the celestial opening of ‘Tears’ (another single) before the glittering stars are transformed into a mirror ball as the song becomes a Disco synth delight, a spin round the floor before more intense or painful events take hold.

We sail into the sunset on the deck of ‘The Ship’ a synthesised soufflé of simple joy, ‘I Love You’ a vocal refrain over electro drums and dance pop.