God, it's good to have Siouxsie back — although she never really went away after dissolving the Banshees after 1995's The Rapture. The Goth goddess has recorded and toured with side project Creatures, re-formed the Banshees for a spell and now (peekaboo!) has just released her first proper solo album. Sassy, sophisticated pop, Mantaray slinks around the fringes of Siouxsie's catalog and struts onto the dance floor for the marimba-laced "Loveless" and electro-rocker "About to Happen." "They Follow You" has more than a hint of "Kiss Them for Me," but the rest of Mantaray moves to the chill-out room, sometimes too much so. Siouxsie's critique of consumerism, "Drone Zone," has a little trouble finding a pulse, and the buzzy Bo Diddley beat "One Mile Below" just sort of hovers in place. But "If It Doesn't Kill You" is a postmodern torch song like Portishead in their prime; Siouxsie, her voice both cautionary and enticing, could show Amy Winehouse a thing or two. And the brassy, John Barry-like swing of "Here Comes That Day" makes it hard to believe Ms. Sioux hasn't been tapped to record a James Bond theme. Chris Cornell? Sheryl Crow? Please. With Bond 22 now in the works, someone sign Siouxsie up.
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