Bizarre Love Triangle
If the title of the album is familiar, it should be.
The Manchester, England, band New Order had a hit in the mid-’80s with “Bizarre Love Triangle,” a jumpy synth-pop lovefest that is considered a staple on heritage alternative-rock stations. Don’t dis Charlotte Summer for having the guts to name her record after it. After all, if you’re offended, then you must be a New Wave fan. Summer obviously is. This album belongs to the “darkwave” subgenre of post-punk, although it’s not as dark as the disconsolate work of what seem to be her idols (The Cure, Joy Division, Siouxsie & the Banshees).
Imagine Garbage without the post-grunge concessions to modern-rock radio, and you’ll have an idea of what this record is like. This is sleek after-hours club music, something that The Lost Boys would listen to. The enlightened can guess the elements: minor-key guitars, throbbing bass, pummeling drum machines, sparkling keyboards and witching hour vocals. Actually, Summer manages to juggle pop appeal and gothic conviction quite well.
For the most part, the songs are attractive; they’re well-polished and have icy hooks that demand frequent pressings of the repeat button.
Charlotte Summer: www.charlottesummer.net