Through The Looking Glass (CD Reissue)

Siouxsie And The Banshees

Universal, 2014

REVIEW BY: David Bowling


Siouxsie Sioux and Steven Severin formed Siouxsie & The Banshees in England during 1976. While initially influenced by the English punk movement, they quickly moved beyond that sound by adding experimental chord progressions and offbeat melodies to their music. For two decades, they explored the outer edges of rock ‘n’ roll through what can be called their post punk approach.

Universal Music has just reissued their last four studio albums, of which my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 Through The Looking Glass is the first. Issued in 1987, it is a unique album in their catalogue as all the songs are covers rather than originals. The other members of the band are drummer Budgie and keyboardist John Carruthers.

It is an eclectic group of material as the songs range from Billie Holiday to Bob Dylan to Iggy Pop, with a stop along the way in Walt Disney’s Jungle Book. They depart a little more from the norm with the addition of some brass and strings.

The Iggy Pop composition “The Passenger” is twisted a bit out of shape with the addition of some brass. The lyrics retain their power but the music has a very different feel from the original. The Bob Dylan/Rick Danko composition “This Wheel’s On Fire” and Billie Holiday’s ”Strange Fruit” both keep the emphasis on Siouxsie’s voice. Her annunciation and the change in tempos completely remake the two songs.

The Sherman Brothers wrote “Trust In Me” for a Disney film but probably couldn’t have imagined what Siouxsie and her band would do with the song. There is a subtle but ominous vibe to it that is mesmerizing.

The reissue comes with four bonus tracks. “This Wheel’s On Fire” and “The Passenger” are different mixes and while nice to have are not essential. On the other hand, the 7-inch version of “Song From The Edge of The World” and the 7-inch B-side “She Cracked” are fine additions to the album.

Through The Looking Glass is probably not the place to start if you have not yet been exposed to the music of Siouxsie & The Banshees; this release is best appreciated after listening to their original material first. Its effectiveness is in the road less traveled for the band.

Rating: B+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



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