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Greta's Bakery

The Edge of Everything

(Decca; US: 30 Mar 2010; UK: Import)

Satisfied customers have savored the tasty treats of Greta’s Bakery all around the world. The band has sampled their goods on tour with Joe Jackson across Europe and sated the appetites of the most critical Gothamites in the Lower East Side of New York City. The three main chefs—Greta Panettieri, Mike LaValle, and Andrea Sammartino—stir together ingredients ranging from jazz to reggae-infused pop. Experiencing their songs is like discovering a familiar flavor with a new zest. Listeners who haven’t stepped inside the aromatic world of Greta’s Bakery are in luck, for the tasty menu of items on The Edge of Everything is available for worldwide delivery.


Food metaphors aside, Greta’s Bakery infuse the 2010 pop landscape with a fresh and fairly exceptional debut. Panettieri’s voice is an instrument that knows no boundaries on the scale. “Give Up the Ghost”, an indispensable cut, hints at the singer’s jazz orientation and penchant for spontaneous scatting that mark the band’s mesmerizing stage shows. Their cover of OutKast’s “Prototype” honors the spirit of the source material, but draws upon the strength of the band’s own original style.


That style evolves through a few permutations, from the rousing “What You See Is What You Get” to the festive “Pizzicarella” to a trans-continental marriage between the language of Italy and the melodic properties of Brazilian music on “Aurora”. The stunning “Hard to Read” boasts such a sophisticated musicality that Greta’s Bakery introduces about about four distinct flavors in under four minutes. Sweet and savory, Greta’s Bakery serve up the perfect palate cleanser for listeners of all musical persuasions.

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Christian John Wikane is a NYC-based journalist and music essayist. He's a Contributing Editor for PopMatters, where he's interviewed artists ranging from Paul McCartney to Janelle Monae. For the past three years, he's penned liner notes for more than 100 CD re-issues by legends of R&B, rock, pop, dance, and jazz. Since 2008, he's produced and hosted Three of Hearts: A Benefit for The Family Center at Joe's Pub. He is the author of the five-part oral history Casablanca Records: Play It Again (PopMatters, 2009). Follow him on Twitter @CJWikaneNYC. 


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