For a while it looked as if they would never be heard from again but ROC are notorious both on and off record for causing surprises. With their first two records (particularly on 1997's 'Virgin') they mastered the art - along with Babybird - of making twisted ideas viable by wrapping them up in dreamy, electronic pop music. Then just as they appeared to be at the top of their game, record company squabbling and name rights meant that they have only just returned on to their own label.
In truth, 'Night Fold Around Me' is no great progression from 'Virgin' but as that album was so good in the first place and few have matched them since, consolidation is forgiveable. There are also signs that they've softened up a tad; 'Just One Thing' is a simple, uncomplicated ballad whilst 'River' is lush and similarly untarnished by the use of a warped lyric. Yet die hards will be comforted - in a manner of speaking - by the evils that lurk within. 'Princess' may possess a fairtytale melody but it's a tainted love song which claims to be unthreatened by serial killers, loveless marriages and burning children but still mentions them all anyway. One of the keys to their successful formula is the way in which ROC cleverly juxtapose Karen Sheridan's pure, innocent-sounding vocals with Fred Browning's seedily suggestive whispers and it's the latter's turn on the Motown-esque 'Too Late Too Much' which is arguably the most distubring as a tale of eating disorders and abortion is set to the disarmingly celebratory melody. So that's ROC in a nutshell really; making sweet music but in their hearts they're just as bitter as ever.