Altered Images – Streakz Mascara – Retro Pop
Released: August 26
Altered Images make their triumphant return after a four-decade absence with their stellar fourth album “Mascara Streakz.”
Recorded during Britain’s second lockdown at the height of the pandemic, the LP sees singer Clare Grogan and collaborator/husband Stephen Lironi, along with Bluebells’ Robert Hodgens and former Suede guitarist Bernard Butler, update the classic sound of the band with an outstanding set of original electro pop tracks.
Kicking off with the first single and title track Streakz Mascarait lays out a blueprint for the project, with a synth-pop melody and contemporary beats that pick up where the band left off nearly 40 years earlier while offering an evolution from the band’s original spiky pop guitar style .
With a lively, rhythmic core that runs through the collection, the record offers an escape from the mundane realities of life into a fantasy world with shimmering synths and heart-pounding beats that challenge you to let go of your responsibilities, give in to your inhibitions and immerse yourself in the music. .
Take color of my dreamsfor example, which sees Clare moving beyond the “black and white” of the everyday in favor of “psychedelic dreams”, as she insists: ‘If you don’t see me, you’re not worth my gaze’.
glitter ball is another all-around pop gem, celebrating the freedom and liberation that comes from dancing on the club floor to a killer tune, while bouncing it Double reflection is a defiant anthem for living life on your own terms.
Alongside the searing pop anthems of “Mascara Streaks,” a set of mid-tempo tracks recall early 1980s sounds, such as change my luck and The flameboth of which are backed by jaw-dropping basslines and shimmering synths that balance the collection, bringing the classic Altered Images sound once again into the 21st century.
Closing with the only ballad of the album Sleep — a lush, melancholic electronic number that showcases Clare’s unchanging vocals — it shows another side to the band’s sound in 2022, highlighting their versatility and brilliant ability to tackle different sounds with ease.
After an absence of nearly 40 years, Altered Images have faced their biggest challenge yet – staging a comeback that would appease fans who have waited 40 years for a follow-up to their 1983 album ‘Bite’ and attract new generation of listeners who lean into the sounds of the 1980s behind chart trends and cultural phenomena such as “Stranger Things”.
While today’s artists draw inspiration from classic records, Clare and co. excel at modernizing their signature sound while staying true to their roots, for a package that blends seamlessly with the band’s classic production and holds the essence of Altered Images close to its heart.
‘Mascara Streakz’ is available now.