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yorkpress.com - Thursday 20th September 2007

Deborah Harry, Necessary Evil (Eleven Seven Music) ****; Siouxsie, Mantaray (W14) ****
By Maxine Gordon

FEMALE rock icons are a rare breed today, so Debbie Harry, now 62, and Siouxsie Sioux, 50, have returned to fill the void.

Critics can be cruel about veterans taking to the mic again, particularly women, when they struggle to see beyond the wrinkles.

With 17 tracks, Harry's work is an epic, but it's clear from the mix of ballads, rock and rap that she was having too much fun to stop. The single, Two Times Blue, is catchy enough, but the album doesn't really get going until track five, with the hypnotic Love With A Vengeance and the title song, Necessary Evil. Harry shows she's still a sexy diva on You're Too Hot, which could be a dance floor classic if ageism doesn't get in the way. There's more husky rap on Dirty And Deep, but some lovely, dreamy singing too on Heat Of The Moment and the torchsong Paradise.

Siouxsie's CD is a tighter offering - just ten tracks - and more coherent, with only two middle tracks exercising the vocal gymnastics we associate with the former high priestess of punk. The single Into A Swan is a goliath of a song - its lyric about being reborn providing the perfect opener to her first solo album. There's a bit of electro stomping on About To Happen, worthy of a cover by Franz Ferdinand or even the Scissor Sisters. Siouxsie's gothic vocal gets a good airing on several ballads and sounds its most pop on the catchy They Follow You.

Win the CD...

The Press has three CDs of Deborah Harry's Necessary Evil to be won, courtesy of Eleven Seven Music.

Question: Deborah Harry is the lead singer of which New York band?

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Send your answer to Charles Hutchinson on a postcard marked Harry Competition. See Grant Competition for entry details.

Link: yorkpress.com - Thursday 20th September 2007


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