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Michael Cullen - Love Transmitter

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Michael Cullen sounds much like a Goth singer throughout Love Transmitter. His voice is akin to Nick Cave's, only not quite as bellowing-ly low. He also doesn't sing murder ballads, like the kind Cave is famous for. Instead of focusing on death lyrically, the way most Goth performers do, Cullen is much closer to an atypical love song singer/songwriter only with a voice that simultaneously suggests realms of darkness. He's a bit of a modern day Leonard Cohen, without being the world class poet Cohen is.

A track like "All Used Up" has a punk feel to it -- especially due to the way Cullen sings it, which is youthful and urgent. Ironically, Cullen comes off fairly positive during another one titled "Transmission," which finds him yearning for a girl and meditating on how life can be over in a blink of the eye. (How un-Goth of him!) Singing over an insistent guitar groove, this Australian performer comes off about as smitten as Springsteen once did, back when he mostly sang about cars and girls. With "Spill," Cullen brings T Bone Burnett to mind a bit, as he speaks his way through part of it.

Love Transmitter is an album that will appeal to fans of acts like Editors. It has many of the sonic markings of Goth music, without the usual shock rock lyrical content. He's not really saying much that is new, but because he puts his lyrics in such an appealing package, his album is a winner.


Michael Cullen - Love Transmitter
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