Music Montag: Billie Ray Martin

by James Glazebrook

Billie Ray Martin
Too much man-ass.

That’s my only criticism of the artful new video from “queen of electronic soul” Billie Ray Martin. High concept, high drama, with washed-out colours and abstract cinematography, “Anatomy Of A Plastic Girl” tells the tale of

a young wannabe actress in L.A. who reflects on her facial surgery that has left her scarred and punctured with holes inside and out

…but, thankfully, not all that graphically.

Equally inventive is Martin’s new album, Hollywood Under the Knife, a co-production with Norwegian musician Robert Solheim – together, The Opiates. Wrapped in Wolfgang Tillmans imagery, it contains intricate character sketches of nine different misfits, each given voice by the singer’s pristine, powerful vocals. It might sound odd and off-putting, but some hack’s description of The Opiates as “the electronic Carpenters” is pretty dead-on.

Ignore Martin’s past as frontwoman for S’Xpress, The Grid etc. and treat this not so much as a new chapter, as a whole new storybook. Turn the page…

This article originally appeared on Bang Bang Berlin.