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Testa Rosa

Testa Rosa

(Latest Flame; US: 7 Aug 2007; UK: Available as import)

Testa Rosa has all the spit and polish of bands like The Pretenders and Blondie with its tight melodies and terribly infectious pop rock. This is the case with “Ollie & Delilah”, which vocalist/guitarist Betty Blexrud-Strigens nails perfectly. It’s the type of album that one feels an instant connection with, like it has been in your collection for years and years. Songs such as “Book About Clouds” and the pretty “Arms of a Tree” have a gorgeous, timeless quality to them. But the band can give you edgy, moody rockers as well. “Hollow Arm” has as much verve as the somber, melancholic downers such as “Easy For You to Say” which resembles The Sundays before building slowly to close. Again, the familiarity with the album is its greatest strength simply because a nugget like “Weather Underground” will have you humming or singing along without evening knowing any of the damn lyrics. The material expands into four and five minutes with “Only to Fail Again” being a pleasing ballad. Even a German version of “Ollie & Delilah” works. Sure, it’s not Nena’s “99 Luftballoons”, but what are you gonna do?

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Originally from Cape Breton, MacNeil is currently writing for the Toronto Sun as well as other publications, including All Music Guide, Billboard.com, NME.com, Country Standard Time, Skope Magazine, Chart Magazine, Glide, Ft. Myers Magazine and Celtic Heritage. A graduate of the University of King's College, MacNeil currently resides in Toronto. He has interviewed hundreds of acts ranging from Metallica and AC/DC to Daniel Lanois and Smokey Robinson. MacNeil (modestly referred to as King J to friends), a diehard Philadelphia Flyers fan, has seen the Rolling Stones in a club setting, thereby knowing he will rest in peace at some point down the road. Oh, and he writes for PopMatters.com.


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