Piano Magic are the masters of depression. Of that, few can dispute and there are even fewer songwriters who convey misery quite as articulately and eloquently as Glen Johnson. So it's almost surprising that it's taken his band all this time to name an album 'Disaffected'. Whereas previous records have covered World War I, soundtrack work and electronic experimentation, the latest offering is archetypal Piano Magic i.e. doomy and disconsolate. That said, the album begins with 'You Can Hear The Room', an atypically sprawling start but after that it's mainly Johnson's dejected vocals over a backdrop of classic 4AD atmospheres. There are a few occasions when the songs come across as rather too cold and calculated but regular collaborator Angèle David-Guillou offers her beautiful tones to the title track and 'Your Ghost' is ideally suited to the huskier style of The Czars' John Grant. On a very consistent album, one of the highlights, 'Deleted Scenes', even has a synth backing redolent of early Depeche Mode. Some will baulk at the one-paced melancholia of it all but lovers of their recent offerings will revel in its gothic splendour.