Revolution In Me
’m in love.
It’s all projection of course. I’ve never met her, never seen her in the flesh. Know next to nothing about her. But… It’s a long time since I’ve swooned around my bedroom like this. I’m a grown man, I don’t do swooning around my bedroom anymore.
Let’s get the contractually obliged guff out of the way quickly. Siobhan used to be a member of the insouciant, street-smart Sugababes but left, or was chucked out, or something, after their first album. She was the pale one with soft red hair and big kohl eyes who looked like she might drift away with the next indolent zephyr. She’s still a teenager, I think. This is her debut album. It’s pop music, sung by a girl. With a voice… Oh a voice… She co-wrote all the songs, if you care about that kind of thing. I don’t. Oh, Siobhan.
My life’s turned upside-down at the moment and it’s all my fault but it’s for the best and things do generally turn out for the best in the end. They do. I know they do. There’s a gun on my floor. I’ve had no energy to do anything but today… Revolution In Me is a beautiful blank canvas waiting for you to project yourself onto it, close your eyes and tilt your head backwards and… The inner sleeve folds out to reveal nine different potential covers, each a picture of Siobhan, looking at the ground, caught swaying in the breeze. You can have any part of Siobhan you want, but they’re all the same. She becomes anything… Oh, Siobhan.
It’s at that point in “Twist Of Fate” when the chorus kicks in, her voice opens up to reveal voices within voices, a meaningless platitude invested with phenomenal power, “can you / find the words to say / that I hate you / it’s not an easy thing to say,” and the looking-at-the-ground becomes looking-at-the-sky, that perfect unison of melancholy and hopefulness that puts its hand on your quivering belly to quell the stars there, let them loose. It happens time and again. “Faces” has synthetic steel drums, languorous like dripping tears, the lightest, happiest summer sound given the weight of heartbreak. The chorus of “Nothing But Song” floats on unfinished piano lines and Disco Inferno-style sampled crowd noise that becomes remarkably and inexplicably affecting. Oh she’s a young girl, Siobhan, but she’s felt a lot.
The words are hollow enough to climb inside, and the music is warm enough to keep you there once you’re in, acoustic guitars, fathomless beats and skittish electronics binding songs together. And Siobhan, the ancient naïf, with her voice like syrup and cut glass. Siobhan Donaghy, I love you. For now.