The deeper you look into I’m on My Cell Phone, the latest release from the incomparable Nicky Click, the more interesting it gets. At first, it simply sounds like another exuberant Nicky Click showpiece for her frank assessments of humanity and copious Casio programming. Then, you hear what sounds like samples of Usher’s “Yeah” and some Dr. Dre-circa-The Chronic staccato synths in “Crazy Shit”, and you smile while Click gets crunk. Then, you realize that her producer is her dad (here with the pseudonym of Mr. Owl), and you’re a little bit intrigued, given that most people wouldn’t record a song called “Fuck Machine” (chorus: “In and out, in and out, it is gonna make you shout!”) with their parents in the same state, much less the same room. Then, finally, you hear “Dreams of a Dreamer”, a song written by Dad which also appears on Dad’s latest album (Richard Gsottschneider’s Somewhere in Baltimore), and you’re struck by the genuine emotion and Click’s ability to carry a melody. While it’s true that Nicky Click’s formula of shouting sometimes aggressive and sometimes precious mantras/double entendres over sparse synths and simple beats gets a little bit tiring after a while, and while it’s also true that she sounded a little bit more energized by the whole making-an-album thing on You’re Already a Member, it’s these little details that make I’m on My Cell Phone nearly as winning an effort as that previous album. Those who think that music can exist purely on energy and goodwill would do well to seek out either of her efforts thus far.
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// Notes from the Road
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