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Lullaby Baxter

Garden Cities of To-morrow

(Boompa; US: 17 Jul 2006; UK: Available as import)

Six long years after she charmed listeners with Capable Egg, Montreal chanteuse Lullaby Baxter has returned with a gorgeous little follow-up that mines everything from baroque pop, to Brill Building pop, to jazzy crooning, to ‘60s Bacharach, to the music of The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, and pulls it all off seamlessly. With a voice that sounds equal parts Dusty Springfield and Carole King, Baxter coos playful lyrics over a lush yet restrained musical backdrop produced by pop duo Hercules, and that combination of whimsical wordplay, sumptuous vocals, and classy arrangements is too earnest in its desire to win you over to resist its allure. “Antarctica” glides over swooning strings and woodwinds, “What’s Wrong With You?” is laced with dry humor, the rosy-hued tones of “Little Song” is accentuated by lovable horn melodies, and “Rattled Little Clam” flirts with disco in that same gentle way Ron Sexsmith did on Cobblestone Runway. For all the press Cat Power’s tidy pop album has received, folks might want to give this beguiling disc some attention as well.

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Adrien Begrand has been writing for PopMatters since 2002, and has been writing his monthly metal column Blood & Thunder since 2005. His writing has also appeared in Metal Edge, Sick Sounds, Metallian, graphic novelist Joel Orff's Strum and Drang: Great Moments in Rock 'n' Roll, Knoxville Voice, The Kerouac Quarterly, JackMagazine.com, StylusMagazine.com, and StaticMultimedia.com. A contributing writer for Decibel, Terrorizer, and Dominion magazines and senior writer for Hellbound, he resides, blogs, and does the Twitter thing in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada.


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