2023: We are Kickstarting a 2023 stereo mix of mesmerized by the sirens on CD, MiniDisc and two different vinyl LP configurations.
This is the page for the original 1987 edition of Black tape for a blue girl’s 3rd album.
- jamais pars
- a teardrop left behind
- dark skinned and inviting
- lie broken, bleeding
- hairline sunlight
- with a million tears
- the sawdust scatter
- beneath the planks
- scream, my shallow
- seireenien lumoama
Flowing on its haunting thread . . . ethereal music enveloped in a lush dreamscape atmosphere. In the summer of 1987, Sam and Oscar are joined by Sue-Kenny’s lovely English-accented vocals for the most mysterious of their releases.
“Mesmerized by the sirens is elegantly pained music: an assemblage of entrancing, blackly romantic sound paintings.” (THE BOB).
“Sadly nostalgic of your loneliest days, gently disturbing music that sends your mind adrift on an ocean of reflection.” (BSIDE).
“This is by far the most subtle release on the Projekt label. A mix of vocals, acoustic and electric instruments, and electronic treatments works perfectly, establishing a natural balance. Sue-Kenny Smith’s otherworldly voice (reminiscent at times of Virginia Astley) complements the sad, bittersweet tone of the songs. The lyrics are riveting.” (OPTION)
“The ethereal, evocative, and somewhat existential Sam Rosenthal spins a euphoric tapestry of melody and mood on this, their second release. Lush vocal harmonies and landscapes of synthesizers and subtly enriched acoustics flow from track to track like an unfolding story.” (ROCK EXPRESS)
“If you can take it, Mesmerized by the sirens is not without rewards. Its bitter, hurt lyrics are soothed somewhat by the more gently pained, drifting music.” (THE BOB)
Click to Join, hit send, and I’ll add you to the list. – Sam
Reviews Editor –
From All Music
On Black Tape’s second album, Sam Rosenthal and his rotating pool of collaborators create another fine release, much more textured and atmospheric than The Rope and more in line with the future of the band’s career. While there are again a couple of songs that have a much more conventional rock air (unsurprisingly, these are the ones again featuring drummer Allan Kraut), many now embrace unconventional verse structures and eschew immediate hooks — it’s a quietly bold move that works wonders. The mix of singers (about eight all told) and instrumentation again creates a striking variety through Mesmerized, even while still maintaining an overall unity in presentation. Rosenthal’s own musical voice is his work on keyboards, soft, minimal swells, sweeping orchestrations, and more all coming to the fore, especially on such solo cuts as “Dark Skinned and Inviting” and “With a Million Tears.” As before, Oscar Herrera is the evocative voice at the center of key songs, most notably “A Teardrop Left Behind,” a majestic, obsessive portrayal of love further fleshed out by Walter Holland’s subtle acoustic guitar and Rosenthal’s own strong synth arrangements. It’s perhaps one of the band’s most self-consciously goth efforts, but of a very Romantic (with a capital “r”) bent, made all the more intriguing by its distinct two-part structure, with wordless singing matched with spoken word in the calmer conclusion. Another standout with Herrera is “Beneath the Planks,” with Rosenthal’s harpsichord-sounding keys and Richard Watson’s clarinet providing the bed for the singer’s bravura performance. The contrast between Herrera and Holland, who sings on “Lie Broken, Bleeding” is pretty clear, the latter’s somewhat strained vocals not quite fitting with the album’s overall flow. An amusing moment happens at the start with “Jamais Pars,” where singer Sue Kenny-Smith audibly fluffs a line and laughs. It’s a nice, human touch to leave in. -Ned Raggett