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Sweet Like Poison
The rare first album, currently out of print.
Sweet Like Poison is a collaboration between Measuring Man -- who made a more techno-oriented disc last year -- and singer Cynthia Hallett, whose voice has more vitality than his music. The synthesizers often sound, well, synthetic (Kraftwerk's hardly ever did) and melodies like the creepy descending figures in "She's Crazy" and the title track are more Tubular Bells than Dummy... hence, uncool. But Hallett sounds great, mustering sufficient menace and sweetness to give the disc an unexpected resilience. When making beat-heavy, sample-laden pop like this, there's the danger of over-emphasizing texture to the extent that the song disintegrates, and not in a good way. This happens near the end of Sweet Like Poison, as it heads toward formless, ethereal 4AD-isms. As long as Hallett and MM keep the songs tightly constructed, they impress.

JASON ANDERSON
Eye Magazine
November 23rd, 1997

Miracle
Her followup EP, available online soon!

The sophomore release from Toronto songstress Cynthia Hallett, the Miracle EP finds her dropping (or relegating to the background at least) many of the sonic trappings that had her previous album, Sweet Like Poison, pegged as "trip-hop". The title track (appearing here in two slightly different forms) is a pretty pop song that builds from a simple acoustic guitar line to a crescendo of synthesized strings with Hallett's lovely voice floating over top. Other tracks, like "Rain" and an especially mellow take on Nirvana's "Come As You Are", favour piano melodies rather than electronic burbles or breakbeats. It's not until the pair of "bonus tracks" - a drum'n'bass mix of "Easy" and a funky techno rework of "Torment", both originally on her debut disc - that the electronic quotient is raised to a noticeable level. But even without the beatbox, Hallett and company are quite capable of producing some wonderfully atmospheric and melancholy sounds.

Greg Clow
1999
Chart Magazine


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