Monday, February 7, 2011

Nicole Atkins - Mondo Amore

Nicole Atkins has a brand new album out

It is called Mondo Amore

It's been a long and winding road from album one to album two, but now it's finally here.

Here is my Deli Magazine review of it.

Which can be found online, here:

This is the album cover

I've seen Nicole perform live many times over the last few years, and thought it would be cool to post up some of the photos I've taken from those shows. Inbetween the pictures I've posted the text of my review of Mondo Amore, (in case the photo here is too small to read).

Nicole Atkins returns to the New York (and world) music scene with her long-awaited second album "Mondo Amore." Opening track "Vultures" presents a lyrical landscape riddled with fear and loathing.

"Cry Cry Cry" emerges with a shuffling drum pattern, gospel backing vocal chorus and clean muscle shoals guitar work.

"Hotel Plaster" returns to familiar crooner-core territory, as violins add previously unexpected textures. The slow passionate vocal performance is enhanced by a male voice duet, mixed just under Nicole's.

"You Come To Me" is a straight ahead rocker, snare drum and reverberated guitar driven. Rising piano notes create an upward motion for Nicole's impressive pipes.

"My Baby Don't Lie" recreates a classic down-home jug-band-on-the-back-porch feel that British blues rockers like Led Zepplin loved to emulate. The record then segues into more familiar sonic territory before returning to the original southern fried vibe.

"This Is For Love" uses fiddling violins for maximum background effect, cleverly blending them into a country rock format

but it's "You Were The Devil" that delivers Nicole's most sensuous vocal performance on the album: inside a twangy western motif, the subject matter emphasizes the albums overall theme - love, loved - then lost.

"War Is Hell" explores this emotional experience further. Nicole's vocals underscore exactly what she does best - the torch song.

"Heavy Boots" effectively uses cathedral organ and piano to dramatically highlight this tale of leaden footwear. "The warriors are waiting outside for you on the street. The hungry virgin eyes with scorpions in their smile. They are no match for me."

"The Tower" re-imagines Led Zepplin's "Dazed & Confused" minus the extended stoner jam (though live her band at points have gone even there) - there is a tasty guitar solo, though. This may also work as a break-up song.

Guitars, smiles and striped apparel

Come and let me torch you

The singing troubador

Havin' a chat at Socrates Park in Queens, NY. June, 2008
Nicole Atkins plays The Bowery Ballroom on February 9
Other things I have written about Nicole Atkins:


Anonymous said...

Great review!

Anonymous said...

Dude, you know how much I like Nicole, looking forward to the album even more after reading the review

DaveCromwell said...

Yeah, the album is really good. You are going to love it.

Mr Smork said...

i knew about nicole from dave's writing, and i love since first time i read about her, i adore her since i first heard her. thanks, dave, for introducing with her music. ;)
and it seams that it should be a pretty cool album this one. ;)

DaveCromwell said...

Thanks for the acknowledgement, Mr. Smork. I love turning people on to new music, and I know you have been a Nicole fan now for a few years already.

This album has been a long time coming, but you'll see that it was worth the wait.

Patricia said...

She`s a great singer, like so much this review Dave.

DaveCromwell said...

Thank you, Patricia.

I'm happy I could turn *you* on to her music as well.


Mr Smork said...

ok. i heard all the songs.
and - what can i say - when the whole world goes digitalized i like old kind of stuff. when some goes for cyber sex - i go for real one, when some goes for sms chat - i prefer eye to eye one, when some goes for digital copy of this album - i prefer real physical release.
this album should be buy as a cd or even vinyl one. i want to get it!
it was definitely worth for waiting. all songs sounds great. my favorites are:
cry cry cry - i heard it performed live on some radio station and it sounded different then album version.
voltures are love at third sight.
you were the devil is the ultimate song of the album. love it most. really good
towers is a great discover to me.
all other songs are not bad as well. but from my first listen i would except those above.
worth for waiting.
wonder if she'll come to europe?....

DaveCromwell said...

Thanks for your additional, passionate thoughts and analysis, Mr. Smork.

I know you have been a fan of Nicole's music for a while now, so I am happy you are now familiarizing yourself with all of her latest music.

As for Europe - she has toured there many times already. So I don't see any reason why she wouldn't this go round.

By the way - did you like any of the pictures I put here?

Mr Smork said...

wel nicole is a charming woman. so any pic of her is good. :))))
but i like last one where you and nicole chatting on the couch. :)

DaveCromwell said...

Ah, very cool of you to say.

I'm actually partial to the ones where she is playing the guitar. I think the lighting came out best on all of those.

ViewFromSpookysDoghouse said...

Just a thought: Do they give Pulitzer's for album reviews? They should start, don't ya think? You're the best, Dave!

DaveCromwell said...

Why thank you, VFSD.

"Awards" are nice, I suppose (especially if they come with a monetary prize) - but an appreciation for the descriptive word (and in many cases, images as well) is all I really can expect.

Anonymous said...

I stopped reading music reviews years ago since I found it pointless- the reviewers could never show the real atmosphere of the music, for many times I was disappointed with what I heard on the album and it was so different from what they wrote about. But there are other reviews, like this one.

I am hyped for this album, thanks to your thoughts on it, Dave. Nicole's music has been heard around those pages for a few times in the past and every time I truly enjoyed it. Those references you made to Led Zeppelin- there's no more recommendation I need. I can't wait to hear it.

And yes, I also think that Pulitzer isn't out of place in this discussion. For example- personally, I don't know any other blog or web site or anything where a *single person* covers such a large amount of cultural events in a selected area, New York in this case, and in such a fantastic, refreshing style. That's really something.

Cheers and see you around here again!

DaveCromwell said...

Thanks for your thoughts on this feature and Nicole's music in general, eagle.

And a special, personal thanks from me, for recognizing the fact that, yes - this blog is the work of one individual. I've purposely focused on presenting fewer, but more in-depth features. Rather than succumb to the current trend of short, simple hit-and-run bursts, (that often have more to do with an attempt to be "first" about something), I would rather present something more detailed. I personally find that far more interesting.

Anonymous said...

Oh, I totally agree. This respectful, focused and intelligent way in which you work on your blog, Dave, is absolutely unique. I look forward to seeing other bloggers and authors follow this path.

As for Nicole's album- I think it's really good. It's not a revolutionary recording but it's not ment to be one. She's not trying to prove anything, same goes for the rest of the band- they just do their thing and that's great. It's really enjoyable and relaxing music, pretty much "chilled out" if you know what I mean. I really like it.