Renditions 2/5 Slow Moving Millie is the (awful) alias of 29-year-old singer and pianist Amelia Warner, who has thus far earned her keep soundtracking TV commercials and UK dramas Waking the Dead, Casualty and Kavanagh QC. It’s not exactly a highly credible CV, but this would be irrelevant if her album were to offer anything other than crushingly anodyne pop.
She calls her covers ‘renditions’, presumably in the belief that this bestows upon them an arty and interpretive cool. However, what SMM thinks is an exposure of the sombre heart of songs by ’80s acts such as Black, Thompson Twins and Tears For Fears is actually a bald rayograph. Rather than giving ‘Hold Me Now’ and ‘The Power of Love’ a transfusion of fresh blood, SMM’s soulless voice drains them of all life.
Vocal double-tracking and orchestration skew Fiction Factory’s one-hit-wonder ‘Feels Like Heaven’ quite nicely. And of the two original songs here, ‘Hart with a Crown and Chain’ makes a fair stab at pagan romanticism. But overall, SMM runs the whole range of emotional tones from beige to putty. She’s no Cat Power or Susanna Wallumrød and her ‘renditions’ are no more anguished than a puppy with a sore paw. Those ad execs sure found their blank canvas.