Saturday, November 19, 2011
Billy Ray Martin, the woman behind The Opiates, is one of the more well-known alternative soul singers. Famous mostly for her single 'Your Loving Arms', which peaked in 1995, Billy doesn't seem to have stopped. 'Hollywood Under the Knife' is the debut record from the German songstress' collaboration with Robert Solheim, and it's been coloured a decidedly darker tone of electro synth-pop. The fourth number from the album, 'Anatomy of a Plastic Girl', is the story of an aspiring actress who decided to have plastic surgery to try and up her chances of success. A slip of the knife however, left this girl scarred and miserable, both inside and out. Taking this song on its own, with all of its sadness and ruined dreams, the deep, emotionless vocals seem apt, musing over what could have been. The synths are strong, detailing the cityscape with cold lights and taunting, self-important sneers. It is an incredible number, but could I listen to it for a whole album? I can imagine Martin's voice becoming a little detached, and lacking in a relatable human warmth if the intonation persists. If you're someone who listens to a record intermittently though. it shouldn't be an issue. Stream 'Anatomy of a Plastic Girl', then acquire the album if you like what you hear!