Universal – 2001 – 56 minutes
The brightest star from Lamb's back catalogue currently filters through a Guinness ad where two fire-eaters meander moodily to the heart-breaking 'Gorecki'. Add Nicole Kidman's breathy murmurs of 'If I should die this very moment...' in Moulin Rouge and the result is sheer bafflement at such under-acknowledgement.
This musical outing sees them older, wiser and with both feet planted firmly on mellow ground. Here, the duo ditch the dark ballast of previous work, in favour of wide-open spaces. The sonic landscape is littered with tapered beats and Louise Rhodes' beautifully diverse vocals.
'What Sound' is fractured electronica with a streak of orchestral blush, while 'One' is a non-textbook love song wrapped up in textured trip-hop. Inspired by Islamic religious poet Rumi, 'Gabriel' is an under-stated marriage of beats, strings and sacred vocals. For me, 'Just Is' is the finest track by far. Sampled seascapes break under xylophones, and just when you think Rhodes' vocals can peak no more, she outshines herself.
Across this broad-ranging musical rockery is a unifying standard. Lamb have left behind past studio turbulence but not their unique style. With bundles of vacuous chill-out albums on the market, save your money and buy the finest, condensed one around. 'What Sound' is aural acupuncture and an Indian head massage all in one.
Tracklisting: What Sound – This Could Be Heaven – Sweet – I Cry – Scratch Bass – One – Small – Written In Your Name – Gabriel – Sweetheart – Just Is