Whisper to a scream

Piece and Love has got to be one of the best albums of 1999 to go unnoticed by every critic on the planet.

While everyone was cooing over Moby’s marriage of techno and Folkways recordings or the Magnetic Fields‘ magnum opus to love or the Flaming Lips’ string-laced psychedlia, Meg Lee Chin produced one of the loudest, slickest, rock-meets-rave albums in recent history.

Combining distorted, thundering drum machines with blasts of NIN-ish, Orgy-esque guitars, the former singer of Pigface crafted a set of hook-ladended, dynamically arranged music to come out of a recording studio.

Chin’s voice ranges from seductive whisper to blaring scream, and she does an excellent job in layering all her vocal abilities in a single song — it’s not uncommon to hear rap, straight-forward singing and wails all at the same time.

She wraps her powerful vox around some pretty clever lyrics, too. References to Allen Ginsberg in “Nutopia” don’t seem overly smarty, and that bit about “7-Eleven nightmares at 3 a.m.” is particularly evocative.

Musically, Piece and Love is a studio wonder. The array of effects used in each song complements Chin’s own talent. The music whispers when she whispers and screams when she screams. It’s terrific.

Trent Reznor said he’s been looking to collaborate with a woman. He’d be remiss to overlook Meg Lee Chin.