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4.6 out of 5 stars 56 customer reviews

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Audio CD, October 2, 2007
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Decca Records is proud to announce the release of MANTARAY, the debut solo album from renowned British artist Siouxsie. Siouxsie's first solo recording without The Banshees or The Creatures will be released on October 2. MANTARAY, produced by Steve Evans (Robert Plant) and Charlie Jones is fresh and contemporary, while remaining immediately recognizable. Incorporating industrial rhythms, modern glam and other orgainic elements, Siouxsie's iconic vocals are showcased in a newly expansive sound across the whole album. Since her first appearance onstage in 1976 at the 100 Club Punk Festival, Siouxsie has been a pioneer. She captivated audiences with her dramatic, compelling presence that pushed, then broke, boundaries. Her continually evolving style from chaotic, aggressive punk to sophisticated, glossy pop resulted in an impressive canon of work that continues to remain provocative today.

There's never been anything understated in Siouxsie Sioux's approach, from her physically and vocally imperious demeanor to her taste for crushing grooves and slash-and-burn guitars. That's all in full display on her first official solo album, Mantaray. In lieu of the Banshees, Siouxsie teams up with Steve Evans and Charlie Jones. They not only produced the album, but co-wrote most of the tunes and play most of the bass, guitar, and keyboards. They understand Siouxsie's iconographic terrain and do little to deviate from it, but they also make it sound like an album made today and not in 1978. Lyrically, Siouxsie has shed her often macabre, gothic horrorshow imagery in favor of a more personal, if not more intimate vision. "The Swan" is a song of empowerment and change, backed by a grinding rhythm track and wall-of-sound interludes. She indulges her penchant for jazz, recalling New Orleans with the fudgie horn section of "Here Comes the Day," while "If It Doesn't Kill You" recalls her cover of "Strange Fruit," nodding to Billie Holiday as it hovers between ballad, Broadway, and heavy metal. "Loveless" may be her response to the demise of her marriage to Banshee and Creatures drummer Budgie. It's a brutalizing piece with electronic rhythms and searing, feedback guitar leads that are incongruously countered by a cyclical marimba line. Nearly thirty years after her debut with the Banshees, Siouxsie can still sneer and storm as fiercely as ever. Sometimes she overdoes the vocal mannerisms with the slightly flat tone, snarls, yelps, bends, and drawls that have become embedded in her style over the years. Even when she's singing a tender song, Siouxsie sounds like she might just slap you across the face. --John Diliberto
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 2, 2007)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Decca
  • ASIN: B000S850GS
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #87,403 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Format: Audio CD
After over 30 years in the industry, you would think that there would be little music territory remaining for Siouxsie to cover. Fans know through her work with The Banshees and The Creatures, that Siouxsie has never been one to retread her past paths. That's why her impressively varied backcatalogue is impossible to categorize stylistically.

To be sure, Mantaray is stunning--and not just because of the shift in genre (read: gloomers looking for the next goth anthem should look elsewhere). True, the jazzy, torchy, glam-tinged tone of Mantaray is unexpected and unexpectedly a perfect niche for Siouxsie, but it is the dual mood of the CD that should be noted. On the surface, the track names express an urgency, an impending and inevitable transformation, which knowing Siouxsie's recent parting with her longtime partner and collaborator, Budgie, obviously speaks to her own feelings of rebirth, perseverance and expressive adaptation. But listen closely to the lyrics and you hear aches from deception, insincerity, cruelty and lies. Lyrically, there has never been such clarity and soul-exposing in Siouxsie's voice. By the time you get to the line from "Heaven and Alchemy" where Siouxsie poignantly croons "I'm in love with the idea of you," you get it.

Musically, this is a set of songs to immerse yourself in at higher volumes with little distraction. There is a full, confident and well-developed sense to the sound of Mantaray with more subtleties than we have heard since 1988's Peepshow. With each successive listen you'll note something in the mix overlooked before.

Lastly, there will be comments about Siouxsie's voice itself. Yes, in the last 30 years her voice has matured, deepened and taken on a dark smoky quality.
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Format: Audio CD
For those who cringe at the notion of their favorite artist going solo and revealing a sloppy sentimental or trite side you never wanted to know about, the coast is clear! Siouxsie's first solo album wisely sidesteps the traps that are often sprung by other singers striking out on their own. The biggest being the temptation to make the music take a watered-down backseat to the vocals. Siouxsie and her producers wisely judged that her voice is as strong as ever and capable of holding its own with some creative arrangements, this is no annoying diva's ego trip. The overall effect is one of confidence, freshness, and professionalism that never wavers. Whew!
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Format: Audio CD
Behold the illustrious legend that is Siouxsie Sioux (formerly of Siouxsie and the Banshees, and The Creatures). For a little Punk Rock 101, in 1976 Susan Ballion of Bromley, England launched a career spanning four decades (so far) and blazing the way for the likes of Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, PJ Harvey, Shirley Manson of Garbage, and countless other disciples.

When you delve into the enchanted world of Siouxsie's psyche via this remarkable album -- and you definitely must - do not think to yourself "Oh, she's just mimicking so and so's style." Make no mistake about it; the artists you think you recognize in her music have adopted the signature style of the one and only Ice Queen of Punk; not the other way around.

Releasing a long anticipated first solo album is a monster of a feat, especially with the albatross of expectations hovering over the infamously coiffed head of this veteran glam punk icon. Fortunately, Madame Sioux came armed and ready for battle.

Without the structure of a band for the first time, Siouxsie got busy with producers Charlie Jones (Goldfrapp) and Steve Evans (Robert Plant), and together they wove a tapestry of textures that is pure magick.

Clearly, living in the French countryside has enriched the palate of the punk goddess. Her defiant freedom of style, newly reinvented and entirely unhampered by the dictates of the status quo, mingles jazz (a la Shirley Bassey) and classic cabaret with industrial glam punk and a steady dose of the relentless, grinding feedback, percussive mayhem, and slash and burn guitars that Siouxsie is famous for.

Sinister, sexy and flirtatious on the surface, this album seethes and roils with raw, unadulterated honesty and bare-naked emotion.
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Format: Audio CD
This album is everything I wanted it to be. It is so full of style, energy, pain and frustration. It runs the gamut of styles, which surprised me, but I enjoyed it. It's much more rock oriented than anything else she's done lately (with Budgie). There are a lot of rocking guitars on this album!

It's clear that much of this album is about her unfortunate break with Budgie. But it's not at all gloomy. There are several mellow songs, but for the most part, it's very upbeat with strong danceable beats and catchy riffs. Her voice is in top form and the mixing is intelligently done. Overall, it just sounds great. If you were more of a Banshees fan and less of a Creatures fan, you'll really like this album. (Personally, I liked both, but I'm excited to hear her working in a more rock vein now.) My favorites are "Loveless," "Sea of Tranquility," and "It's About to Happen." The one downside of the album? It feels short. At 10 tracks, it left me wanting more. But maybe that's a good thing.
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Siouxsie's Mantaray is Brilliant!
I am going to agree with the previous post. I absolutely love this LP/CD, and I truly (in the back of my mind) thought this would be somewhat of a disappointment or fail to bring Sioux to her level of usual artistic arenas, with her voice and musical surroundings, but was I totally wrong. She... Read More
Sep 28, 2007 by Alexander |  See all 3 posts
Anyone else recieve a artwork-free disc?
yes, my disc is also blank (no artwork). Strange.
Oct 25, 2007 by WheelOnFire |  See all 4 posts
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