HALOU, "WE ONLY LOVE YOU"
Although the popularityof bands featuring phat beats and female vocals has risen immensely,few artists have been able to perfect the style and display enoughoriginality in doing so to stand out amongst the more mediocre of suchacts.The California duo Halou, one of the newest acts on the Bedazzledlabel, is the latest to accomplish this feat with the release of theirdebut album we only love you. Far beyond being just another trip-hoprecord with a female vocalist, the album is flawlessly produced andfeatures beautifully written songs that are incredibly diverse instyle: "loop in blue" is a dreamy ballad, "la mer" and "you are one ofus" are impossibly catchy electro dance tracks, and "clip" is amulti-layered drum 'n' bass masterpiece. The vocalist, Rebecca, usesher voice to take on a different persona with each song. She is afragile and silvery-voiced angel in the stunning "halfbreath," yetbecomes a throaty, sultry diva in "ifish." In other songs, she displaysthe ability to be both at once. We only love you absolutely defiesconventional genre. Melodic and dense, heavenly and melancholy,blissful and intense - however one tries to define this album, Halouhas found a way to marry the best elements of trip hop, drum 'n' bass,and ethereal pop to produce one of my favorite albums of 1999.