Charlie Hilton - "Funny Anyway" (Singles Going Steady)

Ah, finally! Someone from the Nico school of singing in the year 2016.

Dustin Ragucos: There's something faux about Charlie Hilton's melancholy on "Funny Anyway". While Lana Del Rey has something going for her in her performance, Hilton feels at a loss for words, but in a way where listeners don't feel empathetic. Hilton's audience feels lulled into a snooze, and whether that's her intention or not, her material will be for an acquired taste. It's just not mine... [4/10]

Paul Duffus: I’ve always loved Nico. Great voice, great music, and when you’ve had enough harmonium and desolation, it’s really a lot of harmless fun -- not to say extremely easy -- to do an impersonation of the legendary songstress. Those Germanic vowels and stresses are delicious to replicate. However it’s hard not to feel that, like tending to your archive of Amon Düül II bootlegs or writing Brigitte Fontaine fan fiction, this is something which should remain a solo, private activity.

Have I mentioned how frightfully mannered and derivative this track is? To the point that, in a world where Nico’s back catalogue exists and is freely available, “Funny Anyway” is surely a big fat irrelevance. Grab a copy of The Marble Index instead and party like a dragonfly laying in a coat of snow, or such. [2/10]

Ryan Dieringer: It’s cool to hear Charlie Hilton stepping out from behind Blouse's thick indie rock and giving us something like a straight-up song. Delivery is deadpan and exceedingly Nico-esque, while she walks an interesting line between old school and Auto-tuned balladeering. Like a true indie rocker, she sounds reluctant at being the only center of attention - that great string arrangement speaks as loudly as the song itself. And its a nice one. [7/10]

Steve Horowitz: Hilton sounds a bit too self-absorbed for her situation. Her voice captures ennui but so what? Perhaps it is just the low fi nature of the music, but there seems to be less here the more one listens. [4/10]

Jedd Beaudoin: Ah, finally! Someone from the Nico school of singing in the year 2016. That’s meant as a total compliment by the way. This isn’t something that’s going to grab the masses by the lapels but it’ll be something you find in really cool music collections in college towns two decades from now. Far from a great song but it has its charms. [6/10]

SCORE: 4.60

Over the Rainbow: An Interview With Herb Alpert

Music legend Herb Alpert discusses his new album, Over the Rainbow, maintaining his artistic drive, and his place in music history. "If we tried to start A&M in today's environment, we'd have no chance. I don't know if I'd get a start as a trumpet player. But I keep doing this because I'm having fun."

Jedd Beaudoin

The Cigarette: A Political History (By the Book)

Sarah Milov's The Cigarette restores politics to its rightful place in the tale of tobacco's rise and fall, illustrating America's continuing battles over corporate influence, individual responsibility, collective choice, and the scope of governmental power. Enjoy this excerpt from Chapter 5. "Inventing the Nonsmoker".

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