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Sometimes an album titles speak volumes. Is there still life after you've heard this album? Did your life stand still as you were rocked by emotionally charged synthesised rhythms and vocals? Is it a comment on the nature of art? Still Life artistry has become increasingly computer-driven in recent years; does the digitised composition of the release parody this shift as it portrays 'real life' in a paradoxically artificial 'Still Life'?

The album is a bit like that sentence... you may stop caring about what it means before you finish it. To be frank, it's a classic grower, but this is not entirely a compliment. The more you think about it the more impressed you are by elements of Dexter Tortoriello's (of Houses) new project. My god it takes some time though and fails to excuse the insipid ploddings that are 'Discoloured' and 'The Beekeeper' amongst others.

It feels dark, creepy and voyeuristic. Most of the tracks are annoyingly over-processed and provoke mock wrist-cutting gestures. The notion that this album is romantic is surely punctured by 'Last Train' where the protagonist sings "take the last train home in the dark and quit breaking my heart" (aww, quite sweet), but later reveals "I took to punching out your bathroom mirror again" and along with it a 'oh cripes, get me out of here' vibe. Obviously this is not to say that (extreme) melancholia isn't as poignant as capturing joyful passion - Dawn Golden just hasn't cut the mustard on this one.

'I Won't Bend' and 'Swing' are the ham in an otherwise bready un-mustardy sandwich of an LP. Somehow, the dominant electronic dial-up modem overtone to the former works effectively with the snappier repetitious refrain. The later focuses on a vocal that sounds like an actual human with the computerised beat crawls in to fill the "darkness" described in the lyrics. It continues to soar electronically with high-frequency peaks and a distorted-vibrato scraping-violin of a sound holding the chorus together.

As if one album simile was, like, not enough for you, Still Life is how (I imagine) the experience of posing for a naked life drawing to be: initially awkward and possibly depressing, that is, until you see the finished product and realise there was an artistic point to be made from your initial uncomfortable state. That being said, you don't get the sense of elation one might receive for being paid to pose for an art class because to listen to Dawn Golden's debut of course, you pay them for the privilege.

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