Emily B. Green – Sugar Plum Visions & Other Hallucinations

Emily B Green Sugar Plum

Theatrical art-pop with a Kate Bush-vibe from French singer-songwriter Emily B. Green, opening track Sweet Addiction is arch and quite daffy with an elegant streak akin to Hunky Dory-era Bowie.

Un Rien, Ma Muse, Vraiment is a jazzy ballad enlivened by off-beat percussion and Green’s enchanting piano, but A Place Of Mine whilst showing off some good vocal flourishes wanders a bit too far into Wuthering Heights-like cod-opera panto for my tastes. There’s a fine Carnival-esque aside where things venture into equally weird Grace Jones doing spoken word territory and a few awkwardly gnarled line deliveries, and Green does a very impressive impression of a theremin come the track’s close. But it’s all style, no substance unfortunately.

Twee ballad Gingerbread Lady is delivered with a breathy honesty that manages to keep the slightly soggy lyrics afloat, at times it veers into Alanis Morrisette territory wobbling between emotional angst and its more fairytale imagery and buoyant harmonium.

Penultimate track Snow grooves off of a slinky organ-line with a light-footed Jon Brion-esque edge, and aptly Green’s delivery shuffles up close to Fiona Apple‘s fragile, stuttering, stammering style. And it gathers momentum in much the same way as many of her bitter ballads does, but, it’s a dizzy-headed and enjoyably caustic tune all of its own. Whilst closing track There’s A Place is a so-so finale, beginning as a rather drippy ballad that picks up the tempo and hits its peak with a scatty, if brief, playful instrumental aside around the two minute mark, and then it just peters out, ending with a whimper rather than a bang.

This six-track is a little all over the shop, Emily B. Green is an interesting and talented song-writer and occasionally here the mix is pretty good, but certain slides into mawkishness irk and a couple of tracks outstay their welcome by a couple of minutes. However, it starts off strong and Green’s got a good versatile voice that balances well against her nimble piano playing.


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