Anita Lane - Sex O’Clock

Ironically packaged in a cover featuring the sort of spangly blonde glamour-girl shots one would expect from an entrant in the Eurovision Song Contest, Anita Lane's Sex O'Clock mixes sleek, creamy, and often danceable R&B-tinged pop tunes with the sort of lyrical plain-spokenness implied by the title. A collaboration between Lane (lyrics and music) and her fellow former Bad Seed Mick Harvey (music and instruments), Sex O'Clock is so deadpan that it's hard to tell if the sexually-obsessed (and to be honest, rather trite) lyrics of songs like "The Next Man That I See," "Do That Thing," and "Do the Kamasutra" are meant as parodies of Tori Amos and/or Alanis Morissette, or if Lane takes lines like "I want to dive for pearls in my underwear in the underworld" seriously. To be charitable, Harvey's slow, graceful melodies have hints of early Tom Waits, and the sweet-and-sour strings and horns that decorate the languid songs recall Serge Gainsbourg's early-'70s work. It's rather telling that the best tracks are an ominous cover of Gil Scott-Heron's "Home Is Where the Hatred Is" and another song, "I Hate Myself," with no credited writer, but aside from the occasional lyrical gaffe, Sex O'Clock is a mostly enticing affair.


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