Milk Roulette showcases Charlie Dore’s many gifts. Chief among these are lyrical originality, a heavenly voice and the ability to produce comforting, homely melodies in every song she writes.
The opening tracks are sparsely orchestrated, backed by celestial lullaby-like harmonies which swathe you in soft layers like voices you’d hear accompanying a 1930s balladeer on the wireless set.
Subject matter on the album is the universal themes that span life from its very beginnings to its close. “All These Things” muses on the endless possibilities awaiting the potential embryo in a petri dish. “Please Don’t Let Me Be Promoted” focusses on the grief of bereavement. In between these songs lie tales of love’s bloom – “Pheromones” explores the mysterious laws of attraction – and also love’s withering, as in “Best Man For The Job”, which features the memorable lines, “If you leave a garden you should know, only weeds and discontent will grow there.”
The middle songs are more up tempo, backed by a full band and featuring delightful slide guitar and violin cameos, as well as a supple, sinewy double bass part embellishing the title track. Milk Roulette is the most likely hit single here, with its catchy Carly Simonesque chorus. The final track, “Cradle Song”, is an experimental piece in which phrases of spoken word come and go like the memories said to flash before a mind on the verge of death: “…sweet smell of honeysuckle… lovers holding hands…”. It’s a success, and a satisfying way to tie up this charming set.
Milk Roulette is released on 3rd November 2014. http://www.charliedore.com/index_flash.php