Has some merit but isn't special
By tyto alba
I've been a big fan of Bat for Lashes and Natasha's work in general since I first heard and fell in love with "What's A Girl To Do" and then the rest of Fur And Gold back in 2007, and any time she creates something new I rush to buy and listen. That's why I'm so glad for Lost Girls after 2016's underbaked, unlistenable car crash (ha) of a concept album, The Bride. On Lost Girls, the premise is that Natasha is paying homage to 80's dark wave music and supernatural pop horror films. That comes through clearly, but the lines between paying homage to, being inspired by, and derivatively aping can be blurry. I'm not exactly sure where this album fits into that venn diagram, but the result is nonetheless fully-realized with some wonderful moments.
It's nice to have a Bat For Lashes album that explores a genre of music that is near and dear to my heart, but I feel that she's a bit late to the Dark Wave Revival party. There are some great stand out tracks here – I can't stop playing Jasmine, Vampires, and The Hunger – but the rest are kind of...forgettable. In my opinion, Lost Girls is Natasha trying her hand at something that bands like Drab Majesty, Boy Harsher, Xeno & Oaklander, SRSQ, and pretty much the entire Dais Records catalogue is doing a thousand times more adeptly right now. Bat For Lashes definitely still has her creativity and talent, but I wish she'd conjure more of that baroque, sprawling, magical wilderness that made her a trailblazer rather than heading down this well-tread 80's synth path.