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.
// Notes from the Road
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