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Album Review: Diploid Love by Brody Dalle

Brody Dalle is probably best known for her work as lead singer of The Distillers and Spinerette. Alternatively you might know her primarily as the wife of Queens Of The Stone Age front man Josh Homme. Cast those thoughts aside as Dalle releases her debut solo album Diploid Love.

If like me, you’re unable to ignore her previous work, your first question is probably going to be is going to be which of her former bands Diploid Love is closest to. Let’s get that out of the way early doors. It’s not particularly close to either, yet it retains the raw energy and angst of The Distillers while leaning slightly closer to the alt rock flavour of Spinerette.

‘Rat Race’ gets Diploid Love of the to a rousing pop rock start. It’s an ideal album opener – high tempo and full of life. ‘Underworld’ gives us a glimpse of things to come later in the album. The driving punk guitar riffs are backed with a Mexican sounding trumpet while the song closes with some delightful flamenco guitar. Throughout both tracks it’s obvious that Brody Dalle has lost none of the qualities that had made her such a beguiling front woman.  The vocals are wrought with passion and angst.

‘Dressed In Dreams’ is assured and atmospheric. The guitar work almost sound dreamlike, with this quieter style track Dalle’s vocals really come to the fore. She sings about starting over again, and with Diploid Love it feels likes a completely new beginning for Dalle – AD was a huge fan of the Distillers, but this album is by far her best and most accomplished work. ‘Carry On’ is a massive departure from previous work with a drum machine loop and keyboard providing the main basis for the track. It’s a glorious light dance-pop track, you’ll find it nigh on impossible not to move along to the groove.

‘Meet The Foetus / Oh The Joy’ is a thunderous track despite the fact that that it resolves around a relatively simple drumbeat for three minutes before a storming distorted guitar riff comes into play. The track gets a helping hand with some beautiful backing vocals from Shirley Manson (of Garbage fame). ‘I Don’t Need Your Love’ is a beautiful song, delicate and frail vocals accompany the gentle music akin to Massive Attack at their most chilled out and atmospheric.

‘Blood In Gutters’ takes us back to a rockier approach. The guitar work is superb but unsurprisingly the real strong point of the track comes from the vocals. Tortured and passionate, it grabs you and sends a shiver down the spine. Album closer ‘Parties For Prostitutes’ hits you like a curve ball, the drum machine is back with a alluring baroque arrangement – delightful.

Diploid Love is a fantastic album, it will surprise you with its variety and energy. It doesn’t fit perfectly into any specific genre which makes the album so much stronger. Brody Dalle may already have an impressive back catalogue of great work, but with Diploid Love she’s done something truly special.

AD rating 8.5/10

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