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Nicole Atkins - Mondo Amore

  by Lisa Torem

published: 6 / 4 / 2011

Nicole Atkins - Mondo Amore
Label: Proper Records
Format: CD


Bittersweet second solo album from New Jersey-based singer-songwriter Nicole Atkins, inspired by both the collapse of her deal with her major record company and the break-up of her long-term relationship

Nicole Atkin’s 2007 debut, 'Neptune City', allowed the singer-songwriter to vent about her garden state surroundings, but in ‘Mondo Amore’ she casts her fate to the unpredictable winds and even more to threatening storm clouds. The CD was written after her life took a downward turn. Her long-term relationship crumbled, as did her relationship with her major label. Case in point is the opening song ‘Vultures’. “Watch where death resides,” she sings, her throat grisled and emotive. What follows is the cantankerous ‘Cry Cry Cry’. ‘Hotel Plaster’ is piano-driven and bears a sonic likeness to Rufus Wainwright. ‘You Were the Devil’ and ‘War Is Hell’ fuse the hostility often associated with burned-out lovers and emotions that reach into other regions. ‘The Tower’ could be the epic contender for a contemporary rock opera. Atkins’ backing musicians are called the Black Sea and are Yalkowsky, Kay and drummer Ezra Oklan, who do a fine job of exploring Atkins’ bittersweet trajectory. Atkins is influenced by Scott Walker and Nick Cave, 60's psychedelia and David Lynch. What she may have gleaned from such artists is high stakes angst and that pours through. The anger comes through in the songs, but a bit more emotional range might have let us into her world even more. When Atkins returned to her apartment in Brooklyn, she enlisted the advice of producer Phil Palazzolo. She describes their working relationship as “hanging out with my best friend every day.” Atkins has been a frequent guest on 'Later…with Jools Holland' and 'The Late Show' (David Letterman) in 2008 and supported The Black Keys in 2010. She’s got a touching fury in her performance, but it will be fascinating to see if her future romantic escapades trigger even more intoxicating material.

Track Listing:-
1 Vultures
2 Cry Cry Cry
3 Hotel Plaster
4 You Come To Me
5 My Baby Don't Lie
6 This Is For Love
7 You Were The Devil
8 War Is Hell
9 Heavy Boots
10 The Tower
11 The Tower

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