If Trance is Chris & Cosey’s peak in terms of left-field doom and gloom, Songs of Love and Lust is a vivid expression of their poppier tendencies. Never content to meet the expectations of their fanbase (or the music press), Songs of… features the expected impeccable synthesizer and drum machine ad-libs and sequences from the ex-members of Throbbing Gristle, but now features relatively tender yet striking lead vocals by Cosey Fanni Tutti. The instrumentation is a bit more minimalist than prior records to allow room for her detached incantations, but what’s here is completely perfect. “Driving Blind” starts the record off with a a short synthesizer loop and glitchy synth washes over sharp laser blasts and motorik drums, Cosey’s endlessly reverberating vocal never quite lining up with the rigid sequencing. “Love Cuts” is a widescreen epic, earworm synth leads and cascades of sequenced arpeggios over burbling bass, “Walking Through Heaven” manages all of the grandeur of a Vangelis album in slightly over 5 minutes, crafting a brilliant proto-Balearic futurescape with glimmering synths, gated drums, and ecstatic drops. "Talk To Me" sounds like a less frantic sequel to Soft Cell's proto-techno classic "Memorabilia", "Gardens of the Pure" is Cosey taming a colony of feral cats. If you're a fan of The Chromatics, Dark Entries, or the soundtrack from Stranger Things, this is an essential listen. Pressed on transparent blue colored vinyl and includes a printed insert. Highly recommended.
reviewed by KRIS & CROSLEY 01/2020