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Lonely At the Top (Remastered)

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Album Review

Hermine's one full album in her varied career had a slightly troubled birth, suffering a round of rejections from many labels before appearing in 1984. Little surprise why — at a time when the original flush of punk and post-punk independent adventurism was starting to consolidate into more comfortable channels, Lonely at the Top was quite unusual even by its own standards. With the assistance of a passel of sympathetic musicians playing just about everything under the sun, the album shows that Hermine's earlier moody restraint turned into a new assertiveness matched with equally striking arrangements that swirl lounge elements, arch art pop, "world" music as broadly understood, nods to free jazz, and much more into a striking brew. The combination of slinking percussion and strident saxophone on the opening "The Story of a Ridiculous Dummy" sets the tone excellently, while calling one of the most nervous, unsettled songs "Sleepy Feeling" is playing with expectations at its finest. The covers themselves range from Neil Sedaka and Yoko Ono (an inspired nod to an equally unique artist via "Death of Samantha") to a joyful, upbeat version of a traditional Mauritian song, "Noir, Noir, Noir." Perhaps the closest thing to this album at the time might be the Creatures' brilliant Feast, but Lonely at the Top, Rovi

Biography

Born: 1942 in Paris, France

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '80s

Sounding a bit like a Gallic version of Nico with a strong undercurrent of tongue-in-cheek self-parody, actress, writer, and performance artist Hermine enjoyed a career as a singer in the late '70s through the mid-'80s. Born Hermine Demoriane in Paris in 1942, she traveled to London in 1964 and soon settled in the U.K. after meeting poet Hugo Williams, who would become her husband. Hermine began writing articles for British magazines, and in 1969 published her first book, Lifestar, about her experiences...
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Lonely At the Top (Remastered), Hermine
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