Dita Von Teese

Dita Von Teese

(Record Makers)

I last saw Ms Von Teese in an alluring erotic outfit – her, not me – sitting in a large champagne glass at an event in London. She is to many devastatingly attractive..and she knows it. A queen of burlesque, she represents a glamorously retro classic feminine look but is definitely in complete control of her life and career. Or appears to be, don’t all of us have areas of vulnerability? Does she deserve a recording contract? We shall have to press ‘play’ to find out…before I do this I look through the album booklet – pleasingly full of pictures of Dita in various sultry poses – to figure out who the bearded gentleman in the white silk Aphrodite’s Child outfit is and this turns out to be the composer Sebastien Teller. He appears to have written most of the songs on his own, as art of the Mind Gamers production team. The recordings seem to have been pieced together in France, Australia and elsewhere with the artist’s vocals recorded out at Kingsize Soundlabs in LA.

Lead cut Sparkling Rain drifts in on an electric piano motif and soft strings before the steady beat kicks in and Duran synths patter away. This is dreamtime music and Von Teese sings in a low breathy voice. The misty electro arrangement is like a stream of petals leading to one particular room. On to Rendez-vous with its twist of the Oriental, with the sensual voice employed again. All this is enhanced by a splendid set of backing singers and the odd percussion touch. The song envelops the listener with its soft-focus vibe. ‘Erotic rendez-vous today, to eat forbidden fruit’ go the words. An invitation nobody could refuse…

At this point I remember what this sexy, synth-ridden music puts me in mind of – one of my favourite artists, NY sound temptress Vanessa Daou. In particular her Zipless album based upon Erica Jong’s erotic writings. More of the same on La Vie Est Un Jeu sung in French, with whistling in the mix and a softly-rocking tempo at a suggestive BPM. The sprightly piano evokes Paris and the laughter towards the end suggests passion satisfied. Next up and with Tellier guitar added, the flanged strings-led My Lips On Your Lips. White clouds of music, softly surging away..In passing, I would have eschewed synth bass on most of these tracks for electric and maybe double bass on a couple of numbers. Synth bass tends to have impact but scant warmth.

On to Bird Of Prey has a regal twinkling keys intro and Von Teese whispers in your ear. This is likely the best actual song on the record as the melody is gorgeous and the vocal quite sublime, the drumming more solid but the spacey atmosphere maintained. Parfum is truly midnight music, though the drum machine makes it all a tad icy. Recounted in French, this sounds as though it is indeed looking for a scent commercial! Best though, Dita sounds caught up in the moment, heat-seeking for a coupling. Whew ! Fevers And Candies takes a rolling beat and a softly-sung lyric with a smile on its face. Saticula is at a slightly unsettling tempo and doesn’t quite get home, though the reverbed acoustic piano is an attractive element. Mainly instrumental til two minutes in, it sets a ‘just waking up’ mood that somehow evokes the film Emmanuelle.

Dangerous Guy is more urgent in tempo with a cool bv arrangement leading and Von Teese semi-speaking over the backdrop. A warning to a bounder, the track skips along and this one cries out for a video. Porcelaine ends the programme with its air of confidence and Tellier vocal contribution. The ambience is almost jolly and the tune memorable. The harmonies attained work well and the ghost of Serge Gainsbourg surely smiles, from above or below…

Dita is not by any stretch an operatic or soul singer, but my, she’s dead right for this dreamy bedtime collection. There’s a time and a place for everything…

Pete Sargeant


Dita Von Teese's new self-titled album is out now on Record Makers.

You can purchase the album from Amazon UK here: http://amzn.to/2DG1rf2


Dita Von Teese