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Death By Chocolate

If you're an Anglophile who likes cute go-go pop, you've just found your musical grail. Death By Chocolate is the confectionary pseudonym of one Angie Tillett, purportedly a teenage chambermaid from the kitschy English tourist town of Clacton-on-Sea. Now, Angie clearly has a fondness for sweets, which evoke powerful sensory memories for her -- as do colors. Letters too, actually. She recites these memories, non-sequiturially, in the bored voice of a schoolgirl delivering a report before class, while giddy pop keyboard lines burble and eddy around her. In addition, Tillett offers '60s spy movie instrumentals, quirky bubblegum psycedelia, and novelty covers, including a decidedly twee version of Cat Stevens's "If You Want to Sing Out, Sing Out," made famous in the '60s black comedy Harold and Maude. Her music is as much a pop-cultural study as it is escapist fantasy.

Death By Chocolate's self-titled debut release came out in January 2001. It's utterly novel pop music, quirky, infectious, and somehow quintessentially British. 2002's Zap The World follows suit with more fantasies of returning to the '60s -- ah, to be so lucky. The one strike against it is the inevitable parallel to the Austin Powers phenomenon. But Death By Chocolate rises above such drivel with superior cuteness and dashingness.

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