Tanya Donelly - Beautysleep

Tanya Donelly has always been a hit and miss prospect and with the announcement that the Throwing Muses are to reform for an album in 2003 it looks like "Beautysleep" is her last chance to prove to both the critics and the public alike that Tanya Donelly solo really is a artist worth caring about. What we are left with predictably is a patchy affair with takes us from the highest mountain top to the lowest glenn and at times seems entirely lacking in direction.

At times Tanya can be seen as a replacement to Cerys Matthew's while she takes time to recoup and get her solo career on track and its on these tracks when "Beautysleep" really hits the mark. In the male dominated world of rock & roll, female artists really have to prove themselves and vocally Tanya possesses a certain charm and an almost unique vocal phrasing which the likes of the aforementioned Cerys and quite surprisingly ex-Hepburn lass Jamie Benson seem to have perfected down to a fine art. "The Storm" unsettles listeners with the apprehension that at any moment it will morph into a full blown rock out, but not once does move away from impassioned vocals built around a lilting melody.

With the exception of a few notable songs such as "So Much Song" and "The Wave" the whole project is flawed from beginning to end. The real problem lies in the fact that these songs aren't emotional enough to save your life and are not structured enough to simply see them as well written songs. "Beautysleep" did little to win me over and unfortunately I get that nagging feeling that Tanya Donelly will never produce a work of art that truly makes an impact in my life.

Alex McCann

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