Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Nina Gordon: Tonight and the Rest of My Life (2000)

(As published in the Times of Acadiana ... )

Nina Gordon
Tonight and the Rest of My Life
(Warner Bros.)

This album by the former Veruca Salt frontgrrrl has been dismissed by no less a critic than the Village Voice’s Robert Christgau as a “Belinda Carlisle move,” and I acknowledge the similarities (leader of all-girl group goes solo, gets poppy). What I object to is the dismissiveness. Just as Carlisle sounded more exhilaratingly unfettered on her own than with the Go Go’s, Gordon sounds happy to be out from under the obligation to be surly, grungy, and worthy of the parental-warning sticker. The hooks are among the most insinuating and least obvious of the season, the lyrics a rewarding mixture of confession and nonsense, and the glammy, Bob Rock-produced alterna-pop sound the perfect foil for Gordon’s bright, yearning voice. Rating: Four-and-a-half Willie Wonka’s out of five.

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