Sunday, January 13, 2008

Obligatory Villagers

I’ve been meaning to write about the new Nellie McKay album, Obligatory Villagers for about a month now. This is a collection that needs to be strongly promoted.

Nellie is a remarkable young woman who first hit the scene a couple years ago at 18 years of age with her album, Get Away From Me, which was a strongly talented effort to blend lounge jazz with rap and flavor it with all sorts of other textures and impressions.

Her next album, Pretty Little head, was unremarkable, but this new effort has totally blown me away. People who are only 25 years old normally can’t produce music like this. This collection touches on and gives impressions of old movie music from the 30s and then moves into the 60s and then suddenly you are thrust into something that sounds like Nelson Riddle, and then suddenly you find yourself on Broadway.

Nellie had some heavyweight help from jazz horns including David Liebman, Phil Woods, and Bob Dorough who all make this album superb. The production values of this collection pars that of Zappa, Steely Dan, and damn it I’ll say it, it even pars the production of many of the Beatles albums.

There is always something changing on this recording. It never gets boring. Changes are frequent enough even for those with the shortest attention spasm.

Nellie’s piano is at its top form and her lyrics are as sharp, funny, snotty and as interesting as those on her first collection. Listening with head phones reveals all sorts of Easter eggs and goodies within that you just never hear no matter how good your speakered system is.

This album consists of only nine tracks, ten if you buy it on iTunes, however there is enough listening here to keep you interested for months. As far as Nellie is concerned, Pluto’s still a planet. As far as I'm concerned I'm going to keep playing this CD over and over at least until June.


Blogger Trop said...

I'll definitely check her out. Thanks!

7:39 AM  
Blogger nootka said...

Now you've piqued my interest!
I'm giggling about an attention spasm. I'd say I'm guilty as charged in some cases.
Have a fine one...the sun's out!??

9:40 AM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Trop, I'll expect a report.

Nootka, oops, that was supposed to be span. We rode on the sunny day.

5:32 AM  

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