CD REVIEWS: POP

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The Independent Culture
SOPHIE B HAWKINS: TIMBRE (Columbia)

Sophie B Hawkins was writing dark, sexual confessionals long before Alanis Morissette made them compulsory for female songwriters. Now Hawkins is back with her first album in five years and her record company promises that it's "brave, bold and totally uncensored". Thrilling news indeed. Timbre has its share of rude words and lesbian imagery - Hawkins even attempts some Patti Smith-style beat poetry on "The Darkest Childe" - but any boldness in the lyrics is hiding behind underwhelming music, and vocals that sound like the singer from Hanson before his voice broke. This is soft, semi-acoustic, jazz-tinged grown-up pop. It's perfectly well made. The trouble is, I was expecting more bite and less Sting.

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