Husband-and-wife team Meredith DiMenna and Keith Saunders (the songwriting nucleus of Connecticut’s Saint Bernadette) have followed up 2007’s In the Ballroom with a five-track EP that attempts to fist-pump its way out of the jazzy, retro box they had so perfectly fit into previously. Where their debut album glistened with cool horns and an ethereal, torch-song touch provided by DiMenna’s smoky vocals, I Wanna Tell You Something mixes shoegazing guitar crescendos (“In Between”), stadium-friendly sing-a-long choruses (“Love Is a Stranger”) and a cod, skanking backbeat (“One In a Million”), all of which produces a scattershot listening experience. There is no denying that DiMenna is a wonderful singer, who proves here that she can take on punchy, post-punk girls like Karen O. However, it’s when she returns to her sensual blue-eyed soul singer self on “Hard to Believe”, a fiery R&B feast backed by label-mate Jar-e; or the title-track, a beautiful country-tinged, acoustic ballad at the end of the set, that DiMenna truly starts to shine once more.
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// Notes from the Road
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