By Al Kaufman
Since the inception of CDs, artists have been getting the re-issue treatment. Most of the big-wigs have had their back catalogs that fans previously had only on vinyl freshened up, or digitally re-mastered. The record label throws in a few outtakes or live versions of the songs from the album and, viola, a deluxe re-issue is born.
Ladyhawke brings the process to a whole level. With a self-titled debut CD that has not even celebrated its first birthday, the New Zealander who answers the question, “What would Stevie Nicks sound like if she fronted a techno-band?” is touring behind her new special deluxe edition of her only CD.
Ladyhawke is Pip Brown, a singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist who took her moniker from Michelle Pfeiffer's character of the incredibly mediocre 1985 fantasy film of the same name. On this deluxe edition, the acoustic versions of her two hits, "Paris Is Burning" and "My Delirium," demonstrate that the songs are not just generic trash that got enhanced with studio wizardry. The stripped down versions reveal the depth and musicality of the songs. Ladyhawke is a real songwriter. The acoustic version of "Dusk Till Dawn," however, sounds virtually identical to the original.
The two other bonus cuts are techno-pop songs with a rock edge that fit right in with the rest of the CD. Ladyhawke is someone who is capable of pulling off a rarity; mixing soul with techno. When you stop and listen to her songs, there's not much there lyrically, but with what she can do with her voice and instruments, it feels like there's a whole lot more.