vendredi, août 13, 2004

Album: Charlotte Hatherley

Charlotte Hatherley : Grey Will Fade, DOUBLE DRAGON

By Andy Gill

13 August 2004

As second guitarist with Ash, Charlotte Hatherley has probably done more to alter indie lads' gender attitudes than any musician since the two Kims, Deal and Gordon. With none of that Courtney Love attitude to distract or detract, she can be judged purely as a musician - as which, she has managed to nudge Ash a little closer to The Pixies, clearly a major influence. Out on her own for the first time, Hatherley's musical ambitions can be gauged by her employment of two former members of Captain Beefheart's Magic Band for help with this project, producer Eric Drew Feldman also playing keyboards throughout, and Morris Tepper contributing a typically astringent, spiky guitar line and solo to "Stop".

Otherwise, the tracks are laid down by Hatherley virtually on her own, save for Rob Ellis's drums. As you might expect from such a youthful performer, her songs deal mainly with the emotional ups and downs triggered by life's vicissitudes. In some cases, there's a clear provocation - the rebellious role model acclaimed in "Paragon", or in "Bastardo", the "two-faced lothario" Mexican boy who steals her guitar after a one-night stand. Others are more general in origin, like the depressions and anxieties confronted in "Where I'm Calling from" and "Down". A confident and engaging solo debut.

© 2004 Independent Digital (UK) Ltd

Charlotte Hatherley, Grey Will Fade(Double Dragon)

Caroline Sullivan. The Guardian

Solo albums often come about because of a band member's deluded conviction that they have creative impulses that are being stifled. Ash guitarist Charlotte Hatherley, though, can confidently make a case for her offering, which delves further into fluttery pop than the power-rocking Ash would deem acceptable. The opener, Kim Wilde, is pretty near perfect - a breathless homage to her pouty childhood idol (who is "everything I want, everything I need").

In fact, Hatherley has a general affinity with early 1980s new wave. These 10 tracks are linked by bursts of frothy, busy guitar, simple tunefulness and frail-but-valiant vocals, which recall long-forgotten heroines such as the Mo-Dettes and the Belle Stars. There's also a nice line in acid lyrics: check out Bastardo's ladylike diatribe against an improbably named local stud, Antonio.