Wednesday 24 February 2016

Review: Mirror – 'Mirror'


The 2009 début album from Mirror – the electronic side-project of punk/alt rock artist Thomas Anselmi (Circle C/Copyright, Slow) was a marked change in direction for the Canadian singer-songwriter. Influenced by the musical works of David Lynch and featuring orchestral and cinematic elements it was a grandiose statement that slipped under the radar upon its initial release. Fast-forward and Canadian label Artoffact Records continue with their exceptional series of re-releases with both CD and vinyl versions of Mirror's so far only album.

From the start the Lynchian influence is very prominent in the overall atmospherics and unusual sounds hiding just underneath the mix. However there is also an unalienable sense of Berlin Cabaret, synthpop and neo-classical elements to give the album a grand yet accessible sound that is complimented by guest artists such as David Gahan (Depeche Mode), Mike Garson (David Bowie), and Laure-Elaine who add poignancy and depth to the often delicate melodies.

Songs such as 'Nostalgia', 'Nowhere', 'City Lights', 'From No One With Love', 'Fat Girl', and 'The Cold Is On Its Way' show off the scope of Anselmi's skill and vision with their soaring choruses, delicate melodies, perfect pop structures but menacing and melancholic underbellies. The whole album is constructed like a cabaret show with the cast of contributors playing their parts and propelling the narrative forward.

The production is beautiful. The songs create a huge sense of space with a bright and modern feel. Each track is mixed with great care and attention to keep that cinematic vibe at the heart of everything. The result is a wonderfully atmospheric album that heightens the emotional tone of the individual performances.

'Mirror' was, and still is a great album that has held up in the years its been out of print. This re-release is a great chance for fans of high-end electronic music to finally visit this album and enjoy it. Hopefully with this long-overdue re-release now available it will open the door for new Mirror material in the future.  

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