Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Whoaz Nellie!

Nellie McKay kicks off her new(ish) album Obligatory Villagers by crooning "Feminists don't have a sense of humor." Even if you're not familiar with her work, the priveleged fratboy sentiments she goes on to express may clue you in that there's going to be some tongue in cheek here.

It's a fun disc. Her last album, Pretty Little Head, wound up getting McKay bounced from Sony's roster for being too long. While I found it worthwhile overall, the evil corporation wasn't entirely wrong. There were some drags, and the fake tantrum about wanting a suicide pill wasn't really a keeper. By contrast, OV could easily tack on another 15 minutes without wearing out its welcome. It also feels like an organic whole. Actually its like she and a few friends put on a kitchen sink Broadway musical for curious onlookers.

Bob Dorough contributes some vocalese. I remember him as just a bill, sittin' there on Capitol Hill in the "Schoolhouse Rock" shorts. Some of those had Blossom Dearie too. Who'da thought those PSA's with their shaggy animation could teach kids to be fifties hipsters? Dorough, McKay and Nancy Reed trade lines on an enigmatically beautiful song called "Politan."

Oh well, here's a sample. Oh those nutty New Yorkers.

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