Yours Truly, Cellophane NoseAlbum |
A sparkling, inventive debut.
The debut album by this 21-year-old British singer-songwriter is actually credited to Beth Jeans Houghton and the Hooves of Destiny, which might be a self-deprecating reference to her obvious fondness for Adam and the Ants-style galloping drum beats. That upfront percussion and Houghton's art-siren vocals might get her mistaken at first for a Florence and the Machine knockoff, but Yours Truly, Cellophane Nose actually trumps Ms. Welch in both originality and execution. Suffused in the off-kilter sense of humor exhibited in both the band name and album title, the songs are inventively melodic in a fashion that recalls mid-period XTC (particularly on the swings from the 21st-century rockabilly verses to a haunted, sparse chorus on first single "Atlas") and Kate Bush's early albums. Everywhere, Houghton's voice takes center stage: as quirky a vocalist as Joanna Newsom, but with a much greater sense of control, she's simply a delight to listen to, and these 10 songs (plus a hardcore punk pisstake of a hidden bonus track) are sonically varied enough to give her multiple settings in which to show it off. This is the kind of debut album that makes you look forward to what's going to come next.