All About Eaves: Alisha’s Attic: Alisha Rules The World (Mercury)

IN THE ’50s AND ’60s, people would often pursue a pop career as a stepping stone to becoming a “family entertainer”, hoping, in the long term, for their own TV show, panto season and Tory golfing mates. But then pop stardom became a big enough end in itself. These days, anything will do. People go to drama or performing arts schools in order to get on telly, so to sing in a band will do just fine, if that’s what it takes.

Alisha’s Attic aren’t quite the classic textbook case — but they come pretty close. In the sense that they have no great love for music, and are more into performing.

Trust good old Dave Stewart to thrust them on an unsuspecting world. The only trouble is, for all the deep-pile harmonies and airbrushed production, you can’t help thinking these are simply Shakespear’s even more pretentious and less talented designer hippy Sisters.

Once we get past the “We are weird and kooky” artifice, there are some decent tunes here, like the title track, ‘Intense’, ‘I Am I Feel’ and ‘Air We Breathe’. But any real emotional resonance they might have is dulled by their incessantly over-acted singing style, which flits between Alanis-style neurotic vamp mode and pouting drama queen.

The nadir is reached with the plain irritating ‘White Room’ (“my asylum”, apparently — oh, do give it a rest), the simpering, insipid soul-pop of ‘Just The Way You Like It’, and a simulated 0898 call on ‘Personality Lines’ which is just crap.

But never mind! They can sing in harmony, they’ve got ankle chains and wavy weirdy dances, so they’ll still get on Later With Jools Holland. Meanwhile, we’ll be down the pub. 4

© Johnny CigarettesVox, December 1996

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