Frozen Charlotte

CD Cover DollsHead
Refuge / MCA

Review by Dorothy Parvaz

Hey, feel like hearing some more of them I'm-So-Dysfunctional-Aren't-I-Cool songs? Then check out the duo of Sierra Swan and Graham Edwards -- otherwise known as DollsHead.

Swan has a decent voice -- trouble is, she sounds too much like other singers (at her best, she sounds like Siouxsie Sioux; at her worst, she sounds like the ever-croaking Sal from the Artificial Joy Club). She needs to develop her own style, her own way of interpreting songs, before her voice becomes the effective instrument it has the potential to be.

In all fairness, she was only 19 when she recorded Frozen Charlotte with Edwards, the fellow responsible for the music. And the lyrics aren't always the most inspiring bits of writing ("It's a perfect day/No sex allowed/ It's a perfect day/I'm laughing out loud"), so given the material she had to work with, Swan did a reasonably good job.

Frozen Charlotte does have its moments, though -- notably, "NoKarmaNoCandy" ("Don't call me a metaphor/ Don't call me a little whore") and "It's Over It's Under" (not for its lyrics, but for its sweet, winding opening).

I wouldn't really recommend picking this album up, though. Not because it's a bad piece of work, or anything, but because chances are if you like Frozen Charlotte, then you already have something like it in your music collection -- some Siouxsie and the Banshees, maybe some Dead Can Dance -- and Frozen Charlotte isn't going to be better than what you have.

I'd wait until DollsHead have a chance to develop, and to put out a second album. Hopefully, their label won't totally drop the ball on getting them into the studio for another round...

First published in Drop-D Magazine on May 18, 1998

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