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Waking the Mystics

Sophe Lux

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Album Review

Guided by singer and principal songwriter (and, on this album, producer) Gwynneth Haynes, Sophe Lux purvey a sort of cabaret-cum-alternative rock on their second album. Indeed, the opening track, "Target Market," sets you up to expect some sort of mesh of Lotte Lenya and Nina Hagen, so pronounced is the Teutonic dark circus feel. The record quickly veers toward more standard rock arrangements, however, even if a somewhat mannered dramatic feel permeates much of the material. It is a varied dish: "A Time of Light" isn't far from an after-hours torch song, yet other tracks, like "Little Soldier of Time" and "President," approach breezy new wave pop. By the standards of rock songwriting, some of this is quite ambitious, taking in a futuristic mini-opera ("Marie-Antoinette Robot 2073"), allusions to the dying American dream ("God Doesn't Take American Express"), and musings upon possible identities in past lives, along with more conventional personal introspection. As a whole, in fact, the album comes off as something of a mini-opera without a definite theme, slightly echoing the approaches of some of the more European-influenced and theatrical rock singers such as Hagen, Gavin Friday, Nick Cave, David Bowie, and Bryan Ferry.

Biography

Formed: 2002 in Portland, OR

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s

Like some deranged cross-breeding of Lene Lovich's operatic vocal style, the Dresden Dolls' fondness for Kurt Weill, and the Decemberists' love of both unfashionable prog rock and a good old-fashioned sea shanty, Sophe Lux are unique primarily for the sheer wide-ranging variety of artists they cheerfully pilfer from. Sophe Lux (rough Latin for "the light of wisdom") is primarily a showcase for the highly theatrical singer and songwriter Gwynneth Haynes, who comes by her artsy tendencies naturally:...
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Waking the Mystics, Sophe Lux
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