Black tape for a blue girl’s 9th album is at once a departure and a return. These twelve darkwave tracks (including the fan favorite “Knock Three Times”) take a melodic route while the rhythm hammers in dangerous nails, Songwriter/lyricist Sam Rosenthal meshes driving, male goth vocal-stylings with heavenly female voices and forceful percussion and acoustic guitar to create an involving album both rhythmic and lyrically engaging. In this, one of America’s originators in the darkwave genre returns to its origins while creating an album sure to please fans old and new alike.
Sam is joined by vocalist Bret Helm (of Audra), and Elysabeth Grant’s sensual vocals.
All Music After releasing two heavy, Duchamp inspired albums – 1999’s As One Aflame Laid Bare by Desire and 2002’s The Scavenger Bride – Black Tape for a Blue Girl returns with Halo Star, a countryside, pastoral type of darkness in twelve purposeful tracks… Bret Helm from Audra does an excellent job on vocals throughout – “The Gravediggers” being his big showcase – as does Elysabeth Grant who’s breathy but pitch perfect. This new playful Black Tape for a Blue Girl should be extra thrilling for longtime fans, but being so varied and well structured, Halo Star ends up an excellent way to win over newcomers.
San Francisco Weekly “Out of the Shadows | If you do exceptionally large loads of darks at the laundromat, have a case full of Bauhaus and London After Midnight CDs, and generally hold an affinity for all that is gloomy, it’s no news to you that Black Tape for a Blue Girl is back again. The doleful sound that set the mold for various artists on the darkwave label Projekt Records in the ’80s (founded by Black Tape composer/keyboardist Sam Rosenthal) is still built around keening keyboards, mournful lyrics about doomed love, and ethereal vocals from Elysabeth Grant and Bret Helm. But thanks to the band’s new affection for acoustic guitar and orchestral instrumentation, what could have sounded irredeemably past-it is fresh enough for a new generation of fans.”
Gothic Beauty “HALO STAR is brilliant! Bret Helm’s vocals are mesmerizing, pulling me in with every delicious note. This is what I have been waiting to hear from Black Tape all along, I just never knew it until now.”
Vocalist Bret Helm is here to bring Sam’s vision to life; Elysabeth Grant’s sensual vocals spotlight a quarter of HALO STAR’s tracks. Multi-instrumentalist Michael Laird provides acoustic guitar, percussion and dulcimer; Bret plays guitar and bass. Also featured are Lisa Feuer on flute and Vicki Richards on violin. Sam contributes the electronics, faux piano, and even has a Moog solo!
“Our live audience really responded to the percussion and guitar we incorporated into our shows over the last couple of years,” Sam points out. “I asked Michael and Bret to get more involved in the recording, because I wanted to play to that strength. This is an album that sounds like a ‘band’ – a concept that might surprise some, coming from black tape for a blue girl. I reduced my keyboard parts to the fundamentals on many songs, which better allows you to hear what the others are playing!”
Black tape for a blue girl has always pushed the boundaries, exploring new sounds and moods within the Darkwave genre. With HALO STAR, they appear in a new form that’s unnervingly familiar.
Jewel box with extensive 20 page booklet.
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the 2015 return of Black Tape For A Blue Girl