Feb 06, 2023
By Andy Von Pip
Formerly of The Duke Spirit, UK singer/songwriter and musician Liela Moss releases her third solo album, Internal Working Model. The album—which features featuring guest appearances from Gary Numan, Jehnny Beth, and Dhani Harrison—is rich in soaring melodies and symbolism and might just be her best and most consistent album to date.
Moss has a proven track record of being able to traverse any number of styles, not just in terms of genre but in the way she delivers her music. She can sound powerful, imperious, seductive, empathic, and prophetic and despite the rumbling dystopian grooves that are ingrained within Internal Working Model it’s an album that ultimately delivers a message of hope as she builds and expands on some of the themes that appeared on her previous album, 2020’s Who the Power. Internal Working Model sees Moss meditating on how technology, which once promised to liberate us, is now becoming our master and her dissatisfaction with the divide-and-conquer culture that seems to have permeated all areas of modern life. In a world where technological advances have made us so connected why do we often feel so adrift, so disconnected and isolated? Moss seeks to shine a light on a status quo that benefits the few, or as she puts it—“I want to add to the firepower to burn that old house down.” Ultimately this is an album about the desire to reconnect by “navigating away from our very centralized culture, and dismantling it.”
Opener “Empathy Files” throbs and pulses and sets the tone as Moss sings ominously, “We’ve got empathy files/We’ve got data for miles—on you.” And reconnecting with genuine empathy is something that runs through the core of this album, to take back control from algorithms or as Joe Strummer once famously said, “to take the humanity back into the center of the ring.”
Gary Numan pops up to duet with Moss on “Vanishing Shadows,” his distinctive paranoid android vocal style working perfectly to sound a warning and Jenny Beth of Savages adds her poetry and passion to the sombre ballad “Ache In the Middle.” However Moss’s duet with Dhani Harrison trumps all with the glittering “Love As Hard As You Can,” all undulating shimmering synths and subtle angular Mick Karn style bass lines. It’s a fitting finale to a dark, sophisticated album from an artist who continues to produce thoughtful, enthralling music of depth and beauty. (www.lielamoss.com)
Author rating: 8/10
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