Bitter:Sweet – The Mating Game (2006)


The label says that the debut album from Bitter:Sweet (a duo featuring Supreme Being of Leisure Kiran Shahani and singer Shana Halligan) will appeal to fans of Serge Gainsbourg, Portishead, and Everything But the Girl. Hold up. How does that work again? Well, as it turns out, the album won’t necessary appeal to all of those people all at the same time — the Gainsbourg fans will get a kick out of the loungey, horn-heavy “Mating Game” (and is that a theremin heard warbling in the background?), while those who got excited when Everything But the Girl got all jungley and electro will love the juxtaposition of cool, breathy vocals and jumpy breakbeats on “Our Remains” and “Salty Air.” For the Portishead contingent there’s the spare and sulky funk of “Overdue” and the turntable-infused junglism of “Don’t Forget to Breathe” (which also features really nice strings and a fun rhythmic changeup in the chorus). It all adds up to an album that captivates not by virtue of real originality, but by combining familiar elements in consistently enjoyable ways. allmusic

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