(2000) Instinct

Mandalay

... read moreMandalay is composed of Saul Freeman, the musical performance half of the esoteric "gallery band" Thieves, and his soaringly vocal counterpart, Nicola Hitchcock. Marginally lumped in with other ripple-free trip-hoppers of the mid-'90s, they enjoy moments of innovation and independence from the...

55′:58″ 11 Songs

1
Not Seventeen
Mandalay
4:18
2
Don't Invent Me
Mandalay
5:19
3
Like Her
Mandalay
5:32
4
Deep Love
Mandalay
4:46
5
No Reality
Mandalay
4:05
6
You Forget
Mandalay
5:04
7
Simple Things
Mandalay
5:34
8
Too Much Room
Mandalay
4:04
9
What If I
Mandalay
5:40
10
It's Enough Now
Mandalay
4:59
11
Believe
Mandalay
6:37
Released 01 January 2000, ℗ 2000 V2 Music Limited

Review

Mandalay is composed of Saul Freeman, the musical performance half of the esoteric "gallery band" Thieves, and his soaringly vocal counterpart, Nicola Hitchcock. Marginally lumped in with other ripple-free trip-hoppers of the mid-'90s, they enjoy moments of innovation and independence from the trappings of trip with the sprawling and ambitious Instinct. Hitchcock's voice is chilly but not shrill, eerie in the high, womanly tradition of Sandy Denny and even some of Joni Mitchell's furthest flings, but she is pure bone-chilling rock & roll and then some. Her songs rock out the structures of girl issues and romantic contemplations, aggressively feminist and argumentative. The sentiments of "Too Much Room" and "Don't Invent Me" echo some randy but not preemptive commentary along the lines of Sinéad O'Connor; you get the feeling she's not necessarily annoyed with men at large but with some common pattern dynamics. There's a tendency to compare Mandalay with the far poppier Moloko, but Hitchcock and Freeman are simply more serious and musically clustered together. Freeman supplies metallic electronics, avant-jazz samples, and drop-ins (Jon Hassell passes by), and even classical contributions (if you're quick you can catch Gorecki's "Symphony No. 3" that opens "Not Seventeen"). Such thoughtful lyrics and provocative musicianship defy comparisons to pop, but ultimately, pop it is; and it's pop of the classiest variety. ~ Becky Byrkit