Label: V2 Records Release date: 11 January 2010 WebsiteThe Irrepressibles website Nothing can prepare you for an album that starts with some chamber pop accompanying the jawdropping line : “My friend Jo was a crazy bitch!”. With that brutal honesty (or sense of humour, your choice) begins The Irrepressibles' new album, Mirror Mirror, a cheeky, sexy and very orchestral collection of songs, they way chamber pop should be made. Suffice to say, Mirror Mirror enters melodramatic territory way too many times, but it's masterfully pulled. Besides, you can't go wrong with finger-picking violin strings and reverberating them, right? If that sounds like your type of music, go for 'My witness', which goes over the top a few times, but you've still gotta like it. Melodrama and musical skill can go hand in hand. Strangely, the cheekiness (or class) of it all goes into the onomatopoeia territory, with the strangely titled 'Splish! Splash! Sploo!', which although musically capable, it seems to be more of an experiment that flew over this reviewer's head (the falsetto is masterfully pulled, so kudos for that!). It might be a low moment for the album, but the recovery is swift. 'The Tide' is a beautiful intimate piece that deserves your complete attention and perhaps a few replays. In fact, it was from this point on that the album stops the jazzy, dire nightclub sounds and goes into the solemn, stark sounds. Blame it on the Cor anglais sported by Craig White. Hey, if it was good for Berlioz, surely is good for this band? The music still has a lot of feeling, but a church like organ makes the skin crawl, making a final appearance in 'In this shirt', a monster of an album closer. Gone is the joke-like beginning - that was only a misleading sucker-punch that dazes you until the haymaker arrives. Listen to 'In this shirt' again, but with someone you can hug. You'll need it. If you enjoy chamber pop in the vein of Rachel's or the classic Bonzo Dog Do Dah Band, or you're in need of a change of pace from the usual pop, do try The Irrepressibles. You'll feel swankier by the end. Rating8/10