Alfa Matrix have always extended their roster past the usual electro styles with many of their releases having the potential to appeal to a much wider audience,a potential that this album, even more than most, is a prime example of. Throughout it's 17 tracks (so it's good value, too!) it just oozes class and quality with the sumptuous melodics of War-n Harrison providing the perfect accompaniment for Christa Belle's vocals and it's these that constantly demand your attention, displaying all the talent and class of luminaries such as Kate Bush and Tori Amos and sounding by turns slightly frightening, as on the opening "Could It Be" or fragile and vulnerable on the gentle ballad "Stay" where her crystalline notes are delivered with such startling clarity it's as if she's singing them directly to and exclusively for you. Taking trip hop as their starting point Hungry Lucy take you through an enthralling journey through your emotions, fears and hopes that cannot fail to fully engage your heart. It's easy to picture the overbearing sunshine of the downbeat (but curiously uplifting) "Storm" while the mental pictures conjured by the sensuous and evocative "Open Window" are so strong that it's likely to send thrills down your spine even in the bustle of the day (and ( speak from experience here!!). I'm not totally sure that the percussion, gentle as it is totally matches the mood of the track so it's no bad thing that the Chandeen mix foregoes them totally.
"Fearful" and "In The Circle" are the most obvious candidates for club (and conceivably chart) success, both commercial but reataining the Hungry Lucy magic. The latter track appears in three different versions, including the D-Koy mix which appears first and fits in so well that it sounds more like the rest of the album than Hungry Lucy's own ethnic-tinged version does!! Neikka RPM emphasise more fully the piece's rhythmic potential but at least keep the feel of the original, unlike Seize who totally re-interpret the majestic and heartfelt "Tell Tale Shot" and turn it into a dancefloor stormer, totally different but good nonetheless. At least it's right at the end of the disc so it doesn't conflict too badly with the all-important majestic feel, unlike the crash bag wallop mix that The Dreamside make of "Could It Be", it would have faired far better on the second (limited edition) disc which this, in common with all Alfa matrix releases, has.
Acting as a perfect antidote to life's stresses, this is music warm enough to close your eyes to while you give yourself up to the heartfelt magic that Hungry Lucy provide, it may just save your sanity!
Artist Link: http://www.alfa-matrix.com