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Rose McGowan: Planet 9 review – raging, self-soothing escapism | Music


“Look up, leave Earth,” whispers Rose McGowan at the start of her debut album; “no battles left to fight”. Few people in the entertainment industry have lived as complex a life as this actor-turned-director, raised in a cult, once engaged to Marilyn Manson. She wrote a memoir about her ordeal at the hands of Harvey Weinstein, took up directing, and has now set her thoughts to music. This album soundtracks last year’s stage show of the same name.

It’s little wonder, then, that Planet 9 is no typical record, but a collection of cinematic mood pieces that yearn for escape from our benighted planet. “Think who wins if you’re quiet,” she warns, once again, on the metaphorical Lonely House.

McGowan knows she is no conventional singer; on the plus side, her intonations suit the conceit here. David Bowie is an influence on the most musically resonant track Green Gold – originally released in 2015 as RM486. Elsewhere, trip-hop inflections (on Origami) and electronic pop (Sirene and the gleaming Now You’re Here) accompany McGowan as she rages, mourns and self-soothes on a work of escapism that doubles as an invitation to transcend. No vanity vehicle, then – but neither is it a fully-realised musical space odyssey.

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