Dot Allison Review
Dot Allison We Are Science (Mantra/Beggars)
We Are Science
We Are Science is the sophomore release for Dot Allison, the former lead singer of the early 90s techno-pop band One Dove, but at times it seems like more of a debut. Written over a two-year period, the lack of coherence on Science is unsettling; although the album has some solid moments, wide variations in vocal range and tempo make it choppy in places. To make matters worse, the majority of Allison’s tracks are based on formulaic drum-machine patterns that are heavy and troubling, foggy clouds of noise that obscure Allison’s timid vocals.
But the bland electronic rhythms that Allison relies on for too much of the album occasionally give way to guitar riffs, and inthe process reveal her real skill as a singer and songwriter. “Wishing Stone,” one of the folkier and more personal tracks on thealbum, starts off with a gently strummed acoustic guitar, while Allison’s slightly processed, conversational voice is pittedagainst various drones and bells (“you’re bleedin’ faster / you’re bleedin’ faster.”) On the first single, “Strung Out,” afull-out rock band kicks in while Allison breaks into a higher tone that seems to suit her better than on any other track–hervoice is still moody, but tinged with sweetness too. And though they are few and far between, these moments provide relief for analbum that would otherwise be weighed down with a synthetic, numbing darkness.