Strictly speaking, this isn’t a director’s cut in the classic sense, as none of these tracks are ‘preferred’ or necessarily longer than the originals. They’re revisions and, in a couple of cases, re-recordings of tracks from 1989’s The Sensual World and 1993’s The Red Shoes. But who are we to deny this very English composer – borne on a lavender-scented vapour trail and muse to the likes of Antony Hegarty and Alison Goldfrapp – the right to call her album whatever she likes?
Reworkings of any kind invite measurement against the original, and it’s human nature to find them falling short. Best, then, to take these ‘new’ songs as they tumble. Mostly, that’s in a characteristically sensual and rose-blushed, neo-postwar cabaret way, not radically removed from their source. The coups are ‘Flower of the Mountain’ and the vocally wonky ‘Deeper Understanding’, but lovelier are ‘Moments of Pleasure’ – an epic, hushed delight – and the Afro-pop tones of ‘Red Shoes’. Ignoring the grim ‘Rubberband Girl’ (updating the synths can’t save it), there’s much to admire here.