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Black Box Recorder | Worst Of | review | alternative | rock | Lollipop

Black Box Recorder

The Worst Of (Jetset)
by Jamie Kiffel

What is "worst" here is not the technical but the moral quality of this music - or perhaps even singer Sarah Nixey, herself. Like a pretty demon, Nixey powders her vixen voice and softly jolts listeners with her delivery of lines like "It's not easy to die" (in the band's cover of "Seasons In the Sun"); the darkly threatening "Lord Lucan Is Missing"; the smirkingly sarcastic "It's a wonderful life," and the cherry blossom-crushing question, "whatever happened to good old-fashioned brutality?" Nixey whispers of training a naive "soul boy" - "because he's so young, because he's so shy" - and I can imagine pale boys shivering against black boudoir walls. "The Facts of Life" has been remixed and made R-rated with heavy breathing and the hotly-breathed word "orgasm" before the chorus (I prefer the sentimental, vaguely instructional original version), and the band covers "Rock n' Roll Suicide" as a disarming lullaby sung with chilling sweetness. There are also four videos on this disc that run on computers, though my computer fainted when I brought the digitally-insistent disc too close to it, and I didn't dare to actually play it. Somehow, I fear being kicked for my misbehavior by the stern-faced Nixey, shown on the cover wearing a 1950s red sheath that fits like someone else's clothes and reminds me of a guard rail. Her ensemble matches her delivery: A nastily quiet, coldly British, deliciously commanding vocal whipping that leaves this reviewer squeaking for more.
(67 Vestry St. New York, NY 10013)


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