Life Without Buildings, Any Other City (Tugboat): Some people are just commanding performers. Across the breadth of Any Other City, Sue Tompkins' inspired vocal performance lifts Life Without Buildings' deftly played, distortion-free, gently aggressive Velvets/Television-styled rock to inspired highs. In a deceptively sweet English voice, Tompkins lets words loose like torrents of emotion, rambling with sighing, slurring delivery through strung-out exercises in associative free thought. Tompkins fumbles the phonetics of her free-form flows, drawing attention to her deft deconstruction of syllables and frayed, haphazard word assemblies. Her delivery often includes repeated words and phrases, spat out over and over to define their poetic simplicity, as in "The Leanover." Stuttering out each simple turn of phrase, her vocal here seems the musical equivalent of verbal abuse. — Anthony Carew

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