Stereo Review (Vol 60, #6, June '95)

Siouxsie & The Banshees: The Rapture, Geffen 24630 (54 min)

Performance: Gorgeous when it works

Recording: Lush

There's no getting around it: Siouxsie & the Banshees make some of the best make-out music in all rock. The icy-voiced Siouxsie Sioux remains the pop world's Natasha Fatale and the band does haunting textures and sensual atmospherics as well as anyone. That's fortunate, because they still can't get by on songwriting alone. THE RAPTURE aims to be a more artful album than usual, throwing out the traditional sythesizers and bring in art-rock godfather John Cale as part-time producer. The five Cale-produced tracks are indeed the strongest, brightening up the sound with some new touches: brushed drums on "O Baby," acoustic slide guitar and accordian on "The Lonely One," viola and psychedelic phasing on "Falling Down," girl-group harmonies on "Forever." These tight, catchy tunes even allow Siouxsie to loosen up and show some warmth. Elsewhere you'll find the predicable bummers, with the title track droning on for 12 minutes as the lyrics descend into teenage Sylvia Plathrisms.

In short, another spotty Banshees album, although the high points are higher this time out.

Brett Milano

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