Racine – Number One

Transvision Vamp pin-up obscures her identity for lamentable solo debut

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By adopting the name Racine, Wendy James undoubtedly hopes to suggest both street smarts (it’s apparently the name of the Chicago strip from which Al Capone once ran his empire) and classical poeticism. Sadly, this is a supernaturally banal, bloodless thing, with the 38-year-old affecting the breathy tones of a self-conscious teen over clumsy, programmed beats and DIY melodies. James misses her target of kittenish cool by miles, and her artless lyrics would have her namesake groaning in his grave. The first and last in the series, hopefully.

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