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Revue Noir is the dramatic collaboration between dark cabaret chanteuse Nicki Jaine and Black tape for a blue girl leader Sam Rosenthal. Residing somewhere between rock, cabaret and torch singer, Nicki’s captivating performance embodies the decadence and sorrow that filled the nights of pre-WWII Europe. Her direct, passionate delivery implores, seduces and screams out, setting a mood of desire and despair.
“Nicki is a performer who’s never left an audience less than riveted: With her cabaret noir style and a compelling, coquettish emotional nudity, Jaine is simply possessed of a timeless style within a voice that is just unexpected from such a vulnerable-looking young woman.” – East Coast Rocker
Arranging vocals, acoustic guitar, piano, electronics, drums and violin, Sam brings together the diverse elements to create a nurturing environment for Nicki’s performance. This charismatic group creates intense, narrative-driven songs; their emotional Weimar Republic-inspired expressionism captures the essence of an era when the world – externally and internally – was crumbling and all that was left was losing oneself in beauty and debauchery. Painfully direct and honest, this world is populated by lovers and friends who betray, disappoint, and unexpectedly disappear, leaving the storyteller adrift and worse for wear.
Along with the 10 original compositions are versions of The Velvet Underground’s “All Tomorrow’s Parties,” David Bowie’s “Rock ‘n’ Roll Suicide” and the Brecht/Weill classic “Alabama Song.” Within the originals are three tracks Sam first recorded with Black tape for a blue girl.
For ANTHOLOGY ARCHIVE, along with the already released material, Sam archived and revived seven additional rehearsal, demo & live tracks including two brand new original compositions (“Strange Little Show” and “She is the Madman”). “When Revue Noir stopped performing in 2005, there were only five songs that we released,” Sam recalls. “While we both continued on with our own music, finishing up a Revue Noir album remained on my ‘to do list’. At the end of 2007, I went back into the computer and found we had a lot of material laid down for rehearsing songs for live shows. There were bits recorded in my studio, or MP3s Nicki sent me to rehearse to. In looking through all of that, I realized we did have the material for the album, all that was required was adding the touches to finish it up.” ANTHOLOGY ARCHIVE is an intimate glimpse at what could have been / what might yet be.
“The spirit of the Weimar Republic lives on in the music of Revue Noir. Ostensibly a project of vocalist Nicki Jaine and Black Tape for a Blue Girl’s Sam Rosenthal, Revue Noir’s sound brings to mind a forgotten world of cabaret and torch songs, but without the postmodern performance art aspects of a group like The Dresden Dolls. The songs feature beautiful arrangements of piano, drums, strings, yet the real star of the show is Jaine’s voice, which makes me think of Kafka and Marlene Dietrich drinking the night away at the Blue Angel.” – Liar Society.com
“This type of music stands in a long tradition, from Kurt Weill to Nico. Somewhere between moody pop, rock, cabaret and singer-songwriters. Typical for Revue Noir are the smoky, low vocals of Nicki Jaine, who also plays piano and guitar. Sam Rosenthal (Black tape for a blue girl) takes care of a subtle electronic background, with further musicians adding a tasteful accompaniment of drums, violins, cello and theremin. The songs have something of a lazy, sensual cabaret style. Songs which tell stories, like the morbid ‘The gravediggers’ or the personal confessions of ‘A girl, a smoke’. Revue Noir shows quite some potential on this first offering.” – Funprox