[18 January 2013]
There’s always been a glimmer of master of reinvention about Charlotte Hatherley. No, not just Bowie but Mr. Benn. First she tried on the bondage trousers, DMs and nose ring for tearaway teen punks Nightnurse. Then, somewhat triumphantly, she zipped up the Illuminati “Proper Pop Star” boots during Ash’s “Yeah just line up those platinum discs and bags o’ loot anywhere in the hallway please” imperial phase. Now, after a triptych of smart, colourful solo albums and a stint being “Chief Wizard” in Bat for Lashes’ travellin’ Tolkien troupe, she’s now eyeing up the twinkly Flash Gordon clobber foolishly left on ‘Le Train du Pop’ by Alison Goldfrapp.
It’s wide-eyed mime artists in skintight kaleidoscopic catsuits swingin’ Keytars and mumbling cryptically about “Creatures with defiant eyes” whilst throwing chiselled catalogue model drama poses. But like nicknaming a midget “High Tower”, Something Big proves to be more a brief, curious peek through the telescope rather than the full on, G-Force “There-goes-my-lunch” battle beyond the stars. The “Entering Warm Liquid Goo Phase” of the floatsome, woozy “Hook You Up” burns brightest, but it’s all delightfully daft n’ dreamy in the way pop should be.