Bat For Lashes’ Natasha Khan must have had a lot on her mind during the past three years. So much on her mind, in fact, that she had to create an alter-ego: the “destructive, self-absorbed, blonde, femme fatale of a persona” Pearl. With her mind and/or personality now split in two, it would make sense for Khan to record Two Suns – an album billed as exploring duality. Unfortunately, Two Suns is split much like Khan, with an equal mix of hits and misses.
Thankfully, when Khan is good she’s nearly perfect. Lead single “Daniel” is one of the best songs of 2009 so far; it’s probably the closest Khan will ever come to a purely ‘pop’ song. The only song on the album sung by Pearl is, unsurprisingly, “Pearl’s Dream.” It’s every bit as upbeat as “Daniel,” but doesn’t quite measure up in quality. If it weren’t for these two songs, Two Suns would be dominated by piano-driven hits. “Siren Song” and “Traveling Woman” allow Khan’s vocals to shine, showing off her brilliant voice and stunning range. The opening combination of “Glass” and “Sleep Alone” are worth listening to, both of which would make good third or fourth singles.
The rest of the songs on the album aren’t necessarily bad songs – most of them are crucial to the album, providing a certain flow and furthering Khan’s ideas on duality. However, these aren’t songs you would single out to new listeners or put on a mixtape or well, generally seek out with the sole intention of listening to one song. Most of them prove to be slow songs in which Khan doesn’t challenge herself musically, lyrically, or vocally.
Bat For Lashes’ 2006 album Fur and Gold was good enough to earn a Mercury Prize nomination. Sadly, I don’t see that happening for Two Suns. It’s a good album, but there are just a few too many songs unable to hold the listener’s attention. Lead single “Daniel” makes this an album worth checking out, though.
Record Label: Astralwerks Records
Release Date: April 6th, 2009
02 Sleep Alone
03 Moon and Moon
05 Peace of Mind
06 Siren Song
07 Pearl’s Dream
08 Good Love
09 Two Planets
10 Travelling Woman
11 The Big Sleep