Melanie de Biasio - NO DEAL (Play It Again Sam)

Melanie de Biasio – NO DEAL (Play It Again Sam)


The spectres of Nico, Billie Holliday and many a tragic chanteuse hang heavy over this brief yet foreboding collection of tortured torch songs from acclaimed Belgian siren Melanie De Biasio. A classically-trained flautist and jazz singer originally, her influences are worn clearly and openly on her blood-stained sleeve but are neither derivative nor distracting. It’s jazz, but not as we know it, so whilst the flute solos and syncopated rhythms echo Thelonius Monk and Ornette Coleman at times, the songs manage to veer away from the derivative ‘Lynchian’ feel of, say, Lana del Rey, and instead offer heartfelt odes to pain, love and loss. The stark, minimalist intonations of barely-there piano break through bleakly and beautifully on the title track and Sweet Darling Pain.

Lyrically it is an album of refrains and echoes as opposed to any kind of linear narrative, so titles are repeated and whispered for effect and mood, but often falling into clichés like “I need affection and not protection/When you’re teasing you should be squeezing” (I’m Gonna Leave You). But strangely, it all works. Wasn’t it Holliday who sang “I find you spinning round in my brain/Like the bubbles in a glass of champagne”? What’s good for the goose…

The closing nine minute opus With All my Love brings No Deal to an almost acapella climax with space and silence– it could almost exist on Bowie’s ‘Low’ in another time and place – so detached and tragic the feel and flow. Never has despair sounded so alluring.


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.