Planningtorock “W” (2011)

November 15, 2011

I will try to write this review without mentioning a singer with whom Planningtorock aka Janine Rostron is compared far too often not to the advantage of the latter (hint for those who know little about what is going on in music recently: they collaborated on a 2010 album about Richard Dawkins’ hero). W is an ambitious record, equally bringing together avant-garde and pop, that reveals more with every spin. It is demanding and difficult at times but also fascinating. Planningtorock is an audio-visual artist so it would be necessary to witness her live to fully understand W. Planningtorock experiments with her voice, sounding very masculine here (like on Doorway) and feminine there. Antony Hegarty may come to mind easily. Indeed, W is an analysis on gender and as such it succeeds on almost every field. Tracks can be very sinister (just like Rostron’s prosthetic nose, the key image of W) and joyous, danceable. The opening Doorway achieves maximum effects with minimum efforts and slowly builds itself to fade away without reaching the expected climax. #9 is shaking and shimmering thanks to fantastic drumming and electronica. The Breaks, the best track, is a breathtaking experience with the dramatic horns being the centrepiece of W. They surely demand another listen. Planningtorock gladly uses both electronic noises and live instruments (strings, sax, etc.) to produce a remarkable vision.

hydrameter: 4/5

Key Tracks: #9, Doorway, The Breaks

Watch The Breaks: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BWO9LweKzV8

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