It seems that sometimes it's the collaborative efforts between a few truly creative minds that bring out the best in the individuals involved. Pop vocalist Leigh Nash and songwriter Matt Slocum were a divine pairing when Sixpence None The Richer was together. Last year, Nash made her solo debut, and although the record offered some fantastic melodic pop tunes, Slocum's touch was missed. Fauxliage finds Nash pairing up with Bill Leeb and Rhys Fulber of the alt/ambient pop group Delerium for a new direction in music for the vocalist.
Fauxliage isn't Leigh Nash's first collaborative effort with the guys of Delerium. She's contributed her talents to a few songs on the group's own albums, but this time provides the vocals to all of the tracks on Fauxliage, save for a pair of instrumentals. Sixpence fans might notice that Leigh's vocals are much more channeled towards the melancholy than her solo project Blue On Blue and there is no upbeat fluff here at all. "All The World" opens the project, a noticeably moody but ultimately slick and delightfully dreary electronic pop song. Nash's lyrics are some of her best to date on this record, and the artist has admitted that they're some of her most personal as well. While she writes ambiguously, she's also not afraid to mince words, stating bluntly (and arguably inappropriately) "It's hard as hell tonight to sleep" in the heartbreaking "Let It Go" (also the only song in the CD jacket not to have lyrics included), and on "All Alone" she asks, "What is it for? What is this for? If love is not for us / Then who is it for?" There is still hope to be found on the album however, with "Rafe" serving as a prayer for Leigh's ailing cousin for recovery (and who has since started doing well).
Musically, the album mixes sort of a mid-90's electronic pop vibe with a modern enough feel not to sound irrelevant or dated. By the time the second instrumental track "Vibing" sounds, followed by the pensive closer "All Alone," the album has resolved with a distinct smoothe and soothing ambience. Tacked onto the nine-track album are two remixes of "Rafe," the first of which is completely out of place amongst the rest of the record with a horn-glazed retro feel, with the second sounding much more like your typical remix but with a delightfully chunky beat. Both mixes are unnecessary, however, and rather redundant with one right after the other falling two tracks after the original mix. I can't help but feel as though the record would have benefited from ending after the initial nine songs to give it a more cohesive presentation.
All in all, Fauxliage seems a natural follow-up to Leigh Nash's previous collaboration. The silky smoothe and entrancing vocals from Nash meld well with Leeb and Fulber's creations. It's a thoughtful project with dark undertones that have little, if any, spiritual substance but more so explore love and loss. Although it's unclear whether or not Nash will continue to work with the guys from Delerium, it'd be interesting to see where the Fauxliage project progresses. More spiritual depth would help fill a void for music like this, but until then, we have Fauxliage's impressive debut.- Review date: 9/20/07, written by John DiBiase
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