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Alien Skin - Don't Open Till Doomsday

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Does romanticism still exist in present-day music? The New Romantic genre of the 80’s is a thing of the past now, that is true. But it turns out that albums characterized by the sound of those years are also recorded nowadays. One of them, whose title is quite perverse, was delivered to me straight from faraway Australia. “Don't Open Till Doomsday” is the new romantic style of the 21st century.

This album was released in spring and sounds like it was recorded in autumn or winter. Indeed, the end of the year seems the best time to listen to it. Perfect for autumnal rainy days and long evenings; moreover, if you sit down in a soft, comfortable armchair and have a cup of hot chocolate… you can totally surrender to the subtle soundscapes of this very spiritual electronic music. All because of one Australian musician, hiding behind a pseudonym.

Alien Skin is George Pappas, the man who has been the keyboardist of the Australian band Real Life since the mid-nineties, the selfsame band that won worldwide popularity thanks to their smash hit (romantically entitled) ‘Send Me An Angel’ (1983). Although George’s home band still exist formally, this musician has released a solo album that is certainly going to be appreciated not only by fans of the new romantic music, but also by those who highly value refined melancholy, hypnotic electronic sounds or Depeche Mode’s music.

The last of the abovementioned comparisons cannot be omitted. Though George Pappas claims that he likes Alan Wilder’s musical perspective best, but when he was asked for the first time to define his own music, he said: it’s something like Martin Gore before the guitars. Alien Skin is by no means ashamed of his fascinations because there is nothing to be ashamed of. He simply draws his inspirations without copying anything. Another thing is that the timbre of his voice is slightly similar to that of the Basildon-based musician.

On his debut solo release, the artist offers the listener an almost 45-minute trance-like journey. His invitation to participate in it is especially aimed at people who sort of live on the edge, like melancholics, weirdoes and all those astral freaks. His ten tracks will suffice to make all of them feel home. Pappas’s voice is our guide throughout the entire album; however, it has excellently been flavoured with the female vocals of Iryna (the artist’s wife, who is also responsible for the album cover design).

‘Don't Open Till Doomsday’ is surely branded with positive exhibitionism: it is the need to project some inner states, emotions and memories on the outside. These subtle songs reveal what lies hidden inside the human soul. Their expressiveness has strongly been emphasized by lots of lazy ambient electronic sounds. And what is more: despite the fact that melancholy rules in this musical realm, there are still some tracks that let the light come flooding in with all the might of its inner power to finally win this battle against the debility caused by nostalgia and torpor [a lesson for life].

I hope that Alien Skin’s music will meet with a favourable response in Poland ‘out of sentiment’. Paradoxically, Poland and Australia have much in common, despite the huge distance between them. One could mention a few examples of this, such as the Kosciusko Mount, the Polish immigrants, or the surname Zatorsky (Real Life’s former keyboardist) which is definitely of Polish origin… Now, to be serious – I highly recommend ‘Don't Open Till Doomsday’ to everyone, also because it is the new romantic style of the new century. And the best remembered selection on this album is the title track ‘Alien Skin’… It is like a strong reminder. After all, each and everyone of us is different.


1. The Outer Limits
2. Razor Arms
3. Saviour
4. The Spirit Is Willing
5. It Doesn't Matter (I Want You)
6. Gloomy Sunday
7. For Always
8. Burning In My Hands
9. Dust To Ashes 1945
10. Alien Skin
Translator: apeiron
Add date: 2009-01-16 / Music reviews

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