U.K. queen Andrea Parker first quietly wowed U.S. audiences with the poetic down-tempo drawl of her "DJ Kicks" mix disc for the !K7 label. On "Kiss My Arp" she delivers a broodingly beautiful full-length that shows she can hold her own as much as a frontwoman as a DJ. On "The Unknown" she croons, whispers a chorus like a sexier Jane Siberry. But it's the goth-electro instrumentals that sound more inspired than the ethereal, hip-hoppity vocal tracks. "In Two Minds" tinkers along like Ectomorph with heavy eyeliner, while "Melodious Thunk" delivers the cleverly cool aural pun its name promises: a boxy romp with what sounds like a clanging radiator and a Pong game singing a strange duet.
While there's certainly a nod to Massive Attack's brand of beat-noir here, Parker's real accomplishment with "Arp" is the diversity. She keeps the other-worldly vocal stuff dusky and dramatic, and the instrumental tracks confidently in their own little run-on worlds.
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