4AD – 2002 – 49 minutes

The heartbeat sound at the start gives an indication of where Tanya Donelly has been for the last while: mothering. But on disc, little has changed in her five years away; the voice is as seductive as ever, she still writes great songs and a handful of 'Beautysleep's tracks ('The Storm', 'The Night You Saved My Life', 'Keeping You') hold their own alongside her finest moments from previous outfits Throwing Muses and Belly.

With the guitars largely turned down, Donelly serves up the audio equivalent of rubbing your eyes: half-awake arrangements combing with drum loops, moog pedals and a little feedback to create an album for grown-ups. In contrast to her time with Belly, Donelly's unlikely to have any hits with the slow-sets on offer here - but she sounds and you feel all the better for it. And while 'Beautysleep' becomes listless towards the close, you'll come away hoping that she won't leave it so long next time around.

Harry Guerin

Tracklisting: Life is But a Dream – The Storm – The Night You Saved My Life – Keeping You – Moonbeam Monkey – Wrap-Around Skirt – Another Moment – Darkside – So Much Song – The Wave – The Shadow