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Nadine Shah's 'Filthy Underneath' review: candid, raw and darkly beautiful

Nadine Shah's fifth album begins with a discordant klaxon-like chord alongside equally jagged and unsettling soundscapes: we are immersed in the world of 'Filthy Underneath.' It's not supposed to be a comfortable ride. The album is born from a world of despair and grief - namely Shah's divorce, the death of her mother following cancer and her spiral into depression, rehab and attempted suicide. This album is as beautifully raw as it gets as Shah's vocal undulates between ethereal high notes and a Cri du Coeur.

At times it feels painfully intrusive at other times trippy and the epitome of cool as Ben Hiller's co-writing a production creates a lilting and sexy tapestry of electro sounds. like the hypnotic Grace Jones rhythm on 'You Drive, I Shoot' or the sensual drum beats of 'Greatest Dancer'.

The simplicity of the closer 'French Exit' - the track that deals with Shah's suicide attempt, has the beauty of a Depeche Mode track with Shah's numb vocals it's a truly chilling song about just wanting to fade out quietly.

This is an album that is so rooted in personal emotion that it's rewarding simply because it's beautifully exposing and candid. It's a privilege to listen and that she rewards our trust with such candid self-expression.


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