Mrs Josh Homme, otherwise known as to most of us as Brody Dalle, has released her first solo album since taking a break from her band The Spinerettes. Though Homme was not involved in the recording of ‘Diploid Love’ there is a strong Queens Of The Stone Age connection with that band’s former collaborator Alain Johannes playing a large role in helping shape the sound of the album.
It doesn’t stop there, with QOTSA bass player Michael Shuman along with a who’s who of anyone worth having as a guest contributor – Nick Valensi of The Strokes, Emily Kokal of Warpaint and Shirley Manson of Garbage. The latter provided backing vocals for first single of the album, Meet The Foetus/Oh The Joy. It’s a split personality of a song with its rumbling broodiness eventually giving way to the crest of a wave euphoric ending. Dalle took a break from music to concentrate on raising her two children and Meet The Foetus/Oh The Joy is a unconventional ode to this.
Johannes brings a lot to the table in terms of production. He plays trumpet on the brisk Underworld and this is not the sort of instrumentation you’d expect from a Brody Dalle song. She’s bad-ass and punk rock savvy and here we find pop overtones which are unexpected. But this is a smart move and gives the album it’s distinguishing factor. It’s polished without losing it’s edge, like early Blondie before they discarded their punk roots.
Across the album Dalle’s voice has never sounded better. Her impressive contralto voice is more nuanced than anything she’s done before. She can still do abrasiveness with more grit than a dirt track (Don’t Mess with Me & Dressed In Dreams) but now she’s matured and realised she no longer needs to stick to this over the duration of an album. It’s all the better for it.
The album does eventually run out of steam towards the end where I Don’t Need Your Love and Parties For Prostitutes can’t sustain the momentum. Dalle has had to deal with comparisons with Courtney Love throughout her career, but Love could only dream of producing a solo album as good as ‘Diploid Love’.