Flirting with the same talkie, guttural rasp that drives Tori Amos on her current Eminem redux, "'97 Bonnie & Clyde," Anita Lane takes her blonde fashion-plate glamour into the late-night girl movement of swishy Merlot and Erica Jong. The cleverly titled "Sex O'Clock" does well to bury its bitterness under the soft mutter of a self-flagellating aside -- often sounding more like moments in a mirror than an Alanis threat. But it also seems to project the sprightly chanteuse as little more than a careless whisper. Yet, not always.
"I think that I'll just make love to the next man that I see," mantras Lane over Velvet Underground-like tambourines, conjuring the sort of hallucinogenic head swirl that made Nico so maddeningly appealing. A haunting revisit to the Scott-Heron classic "Home Is Where the Hatred Is" grips with a similar intensity. Eventually, the quiet, manicured defeatism descends into such couplets as, "Put some sugar in my tea/ Take the spoon and stir it for me," in icky disco-burner "Do That Thing." Stir your own sugar, sugar.
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