Tender Forever, 'Wider' (K)

5
Wider
Critical Mass
Label: K

by Stacey Anderson

Bordeaux-born Melanie Valera chased her libido through 2005's sappy The Soft and the Hardcore, and now she sounds un petit disgusted with herself. Her second album is still rife with musings about lovers and secret kisses, but her lilting voice carries a new off-key harshness that complicates matters. Combined with brisk piano and twee synth, the self-loathing-Siouxsie act almost works. Wider is more haunting and substantive than anything on her debut, but thanks to that brittle voice, it keeps you at a distance.

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