Varieté (album)

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Varieté
Studio album by Marc Almond
Released 7 June 2010
Recorded Dean Street Studios, Palace Studios (London)
Genre Pop music
Length 66:19
Label Strike Force Entertainment, Cherry Red Records
Producer Marc Almond, Tris Penna
Marc Almond chronology
Orpheus in Exile
(2009)
Varieté
(2010)
Feasting with Panthers
(2011)

Varieté is the fifteenth studio album by Marc Almond, the English singer, songwriter and recording artist. The album was released on 7 June 2010 on Strike Force Entertainment, part of Cherry Red Records.

Background[edit]

Varieté marks Almond's 30th year as a recording artist.[1] It is both his first album of original material in ten years and the first original material following his involvement in a traffic accident in 2004.[2] An article in the Daily Mail calls the album "a suite of reflective tracks that add up to a personal record of his picaresque life."[3] Much of it is self-produced and co-written with longtime collaborators Neal Whitmore and Martin Watkins.

The album was released in a standard one-disc jewel case and a limited edition two-disc digipak in a slip-sleeve version, featuring seven bonus tracks on the second disc.

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 3/5 stars [4]
The Guardian 2/5 stars [5]
The Daily Telegraph 3/5 stars [6]
The Scotsman 3/5 stars [7]
Daily Mirror 4/5 stars [1]
Record Collector 3/5 stars [8]

Varieté received mixed reviews from critics. The Guardian describes a "nostalgic mood" but sees the album as "furrows already ploughed".[5] The Daily Telegraph writes about Almond's lyrics stating that "his lyrical pen remains hilariously barbed" and calls the album "self-composed cabaret sleaze".[6] The review in The Scotsman agrees that Almond is looking back with this album, returning "to old themes with alacrity" and summarises by calling Varieté "mischievous, lightweight fun compared to Almond's darker, more tortured journeys into European chanson".[7] Simon Price in his review from The Independent calls the album "an autobiography and also a hymn to the underground" and states that Almond "is determined to squeeze life for its every last drop".[9] The AllMusic review praises the production as flowing "freely from spare, late-night-in-the-cocktail-lounge settings to big, bold, orchestral statements". It also has further commentary on the bonus tracks available with the limited edition version of the album, stating that the "more minimal, acoustic-based" songs shine "a brighter light on Almond's songwriting abilities".[4]

Track listing[edit]

  1. "(Intro)" (Marc Almond, Michael Cashmore) –0:42
  2. "Bread & Circus" (Almond, Alexei Fedorov) –3:47
  3. "Nijinsky Heart" (Almond, Roland Faber) –3:59
  4. "The Exhibitionist" (Almond, Martin Watkins) –4:44
  5. "The Trials of Eyeliner" (Almond, Michael Cashmore) –5:44
  6. "Lavender" (Almond, Watkins) –5:25
  7. "Soho So Long" (Almond, Fedorov, Neal Whitmore) –3:37
  8. "Unloveable" (Almond, Faber) –2:47
  9. "Sandboy" (Almond, Watkins) –4:41
  10. "It’s All Going On" (Almond, Faber) –4:32
  11. "Variety" (Almond, Faber) –3:31
  12. "Cabaret Clown" (Almond) –3:09
  13. "My Madness and I" (Almond, Whitmore) –4:34
  14. "But Not Today" (Almond, Whitmore) –4:29
  15. "Swan Song" (Almond, Whitmore) –3:41
  16. "Sin Song" (Almond, Cashmore) –7:03
Bonus acoustic disc (Limited edition)
  1. "My Evil Twin" (Almond, Faber) – 3:13
  2. "A Lonely Love" (Almond) – 3:35
  3. "Cat Dancer" (Almond, Whitmore) – 2:23
  4. "Criminal Lover" (Almond, Whitmore) – 3:17
  5. "I Am No One" (Almond, Whitmore) – 2:35
  6. "Smoke" (Almond, Whitmore) – 3:11
  7. "Kiss the Ghost (Goodbye)" (Almond) – 4:45

Personnel[edit]

Guest musicians

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Gavin Martin (4 June 2010). "Varieté is the spice of life for Marc Almond". Daily Mirror. Retrieved 7 April 2015. 
  2. ^ "Marc Almond on the mend". NME. 28 October 2004. Retrieved 8 April 2015. 
  3. ^ Stuart Husband (21 August 2010). "In a taxi with... Soft Cell singer Marc Almond". Daily Mail. Retrieved 8 April 2015. 
  4. ^ a b James Allen. "Marc Almond - Varieté review". AllMusic. Retrieved 25 June 2011. 
  5. ^ a b Dave Simpson (3 June 2010). "Marc Almond Varieté CD Review". The Guardian. Retrieved 7 April 2015. 
  6. ^ a b Andrew Perry (4 June 2010). "Marc Almond revisits the self-composed cabaret sleaze of his Eighties albums". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 7 April 2015. 
  7. ^ a b "Marc Almond - Varieté review". The Scotsman. 6 June 2010. Retrieved 7 April 2015. 
  8. ^ McIver, Joel (July 2010). "Marc Almond - Varieté". Record Collector. Retrieved 7 April 2015. 
  9. ^ Simon Price (6 June 2010). "Marc Almond - Varieté review". The Independent. Retrieved 7 April 2015.