Sometimes you need music with darker overtones to overcome dark times. Possibly, that is the idea that lies behind The Other Side of Midnight, the debut album by Venus Blake, the British singer-songwriter and pianist.
Many would label Blake’s music as gothic pop. Possibly, but does it matter?
Actually, you can call this a cross between Carole King, Laura Nyro, and/or Tori Amos with The Cure in their darkest (acoustic) mood, or whatever you want. What should matter is whether it is any good and does it help us exorcise any of our personal ghosts.
On the surface, musically, there isn’t much here – just Blake, her voice, piano, and dark lyrics. Of course, when you have just these ‘basic’ elements, as an artist you are skating on very thin ice.
Yet, Blake has an excellent voice, her classically-trained piano skills shine throughout, and while her lyrics are quite intimate and personal, she manages to overcome the usual trap of what some listeners and critics would call ‘navel-gazing.’
Throughout the album, Blake and her music sound like a perfect soundtrack to a late-night cinematic drama, cinema noir, if you will. Tragic romance, sadness, drama, alienation, glamour, and melancholia, you got it all here with Blake investing all of her emotions here and not holding back, making her music sound authentic.
Quite an achievement for a debut album.