On paper, it’s impressive that this is the tenth full-length by the cologne-based duo of Regina Janssen and her White Stripes ambiguous partner Günther Janssen. That’s a good-sized catalogue to deal with. However, if all their songwriting has been as simple as that exhibited on More (especially highlighted by the repetitive “Cry Baby”), that explains a lot. Sure, Regina’s breathy vocals and child like lyricism is as charming as Husky Rescue and most of Monika Enterprise’s stable, and Günther’s piano driven chamber pop ambiance has helped shape Karaoke Kalk’s classy retro-futuristic aesthetic since its founding. Compared to the average Billboard act, Donna Regina’s music is fine overall. However, Regina has a very limited range and Günther’s instrumentals, though full of good sounds, are ultimately not very adventurous or strikingly dynamic (which doesn’t help Regina’s flatness). It’s kinda like someone sucked all the glitch and surreality out of Broadcast’s Tender Buttons. If Donna Regina is a carton of 2% milk, Broadcast is chocolate.
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// Notes from the Road
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