Love and Poverty (Rustproof Records)

Christine Glass

By Robert Gruber

Fans of the late, lamented band Common Children will want to snap up this latest album by Christine Glass, as it bears the undeniable stamp of the Children's main man Marc Byrd (listed as co-producer here, along with the Choir's Steve Hindalong). The rest of you – that is, those of you who like brilliant modern rock fronted by the sweet, substantive vox of one of today's best new singer/songwriters should buy this record too, and soon. The sooner you buy it, the sooner you'll be able to turn other people onto it (and thus secure those "I was into this first..." bragging rights that are so important amongst fans of cool music!).

I'm calling this one of the best of '99. The follow-up to Christine's '97 debut Human is a quantum leap forward in every way. It's a much more focused and mature Glass who pours her heart on over songs like "Poverty" and "And Love" ("with every breath in life and death/always only love/only love/always love"). The music shimmers on the Cure-like "Breath of Life" as she sings, "lover of my soul/Your touch I've come to know as true salvation/no one dare deny /when darkness yields to light /this transformation". Her version of "Many Waters" (from the Wedding Cantata) at the end of the record is a harmonic masterpiece. For those who like the well-crafted yet airy sounds of groups like Sixpence None the Richer or the Cocteau Twins, "Love & Poverty" is a welcome spin.