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Bertie Blackman
- Pope Innocent X

There’s no secret that Pope Innocent X deserves all the accolades it receives.

Jan 30th 2013 | Label: Universal
Creeping from out of the dark, Pope Innocent X is bleak, swirling in desolation and accompanied by a sense of foreboding. Bertie Blackman is back with her fourth album, and the results are both confronting and magnificent.

Opening song Tremors grows at a palpable rate, and seamlessly forms into lead single Mercy Killing. Although dressed as a pop song, a read of the lyrical content show that the only brightness in the song reflects the shock in one's eyes as they discover the truth – “Vexing you was such a guilty pleasure/as I shiver in this cold cold loveless dark/Still I hunger to come clean with a confession/But you are a relic in my black and jealous heart”.

With Sophia Brous at times lending her own distinctive vocals to support Blackman's strong voice, and supported by a band with as much scope and talent as their leader, the arrangements and musical layout of P.I.X. are all-encompassing. No matter how they are dressed, however, the 11 songs that compose this album are, by nature, dark. Take, for example, “He took a hand/Broke every finger/to help him stand”Boy, or “A travel guide for foundlings who have nowhere to go/Trace the eastern fracture to the cape of alone”Maps.

By combining the lyrical depths and musical breadth that she does, Bertie Blackman has created an album that is as strong as anything she's crafted before, including her 2009 ARIA-winning Secrets And Lies. And when listened to while viewing the similarly disturbing liner note imagery (or website – a lesson for PR agencies can be learnt from Blackman's 'About' page), there's no secret that Pope Innocent X deserves all the accolades it receives.

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