The Legendary Pink Dots’ records now come out in sets, and this is the companion album to “The Whispering Wall” that these now Holland-based imagined to counterbalance the sadness of a claustrophobic album. In deep, though, “Poppy Variations” is as sad as his fake twin is, because it’s all constructed around the memory of the feelings Edward Ka-Spel had when he learnt the death of princess Diana. Lighter than they’re used to be, these compositions fortunately have nothing in common with the not very commendable hymn by Sir Elton John. The band even dares to get the head out of the studio on L’Oiseau rare, to have a look at the outside world, and then prefer to end the song in its own with blurred shapes and where sound waves don’t look like the ones we know. This record would compare to their 2002 “Synesthesia”, as it seems to be recorded with very few equipment, without any unnecessary track (The Equaliser, The Hot Breath on Your Neck, Personal Monster). Edward Ka-Spel’s voice has never been so close to your ears, and despite some peculiar bagpipes ambiances (The Poppy Variations), once again, he manages to associate intimate melodies with very long tracks, born from the fusion of three or four other ones, solidified haphazardly. With its very nice and sober sleeve, this digipack maybe is the passport to their origins for this English band, as they ran away from England in the 80s, and today they surprisingly deliver an homage to one disappeared figure of “their” monarchy.
(The date of this review is unknown.)