Sissy Saint-Marie and Eddie Chacon are The Polyamorous Affair; a duo made up of distinct personalities. In a twist of the usual male/female dynamics, Saint-Marie provides the detached cool whilst Chacon contributes breathless soul.
Based on the beginning and the end, ‘Strange Bedfellows’ is anything but a pop album. Sainte-Marie comes over all Grace Slick for the chilling ‘Hypnotized’ whilst ‘Rebel’ is dominated by deathly snake rattles and a sexed-up turn from Sainte-Marie. In between, though, the record is incisive and blessed with melody.
‘Strange’ and ‘Softer And Softer’ deliver slick yet classy Europop; the latter distinguished by a yearning guitar accompaniment. The duo really turn up the heat with ‘Fantasy’ where Sainte-Marie’s posh vocals are reminiscent of Sarah Nixey in her Black Box Recorder days; the song itself is potentially an arty dancefloor classic. Equally as good is ‘Right One’ where Chacon delivers a unusually restrained performance against the lush synth-pop. Then there’s ‘Witch’, where the duo conjure up another wonderful chorus set to some beats which can only be described as “booty shaking”. Granted, some of the falsetto contributions from Chacon veer towards the high camp (particularly on ‘Shadows’) but in this company it seems harsh to quibble.
Other than that, the album’s only real flaw is that it can become so cool, it’s emotionally uninvolving. In the face of this evidence, The Polyamorous Affair must be applauded for breathing new life in to electro-pop rather than merely revisiting it.
Black Box Recorder, We Fell To Earth