Review - Thrill

Artist: Eleni Mandell


Garage-sale she-blues troubadour Eleni Mandell sent a quiet ripple through indie circles with down-but-not-out storytelling on her 1998 DIY debut, "Wishbone."

We heard echoes of PJ Harvey and Liz Phair (as filtered through Rickie Lee Jones and Tom Waits) in Mandell's gutter-gazing musical wanderings. With the follow-up, "Thrill," these patron saints return as a reference point. But Mandell manages a slippery balancing act between conjuring songwriting's emotionally bare, noir luminaries and exuberantly crafting her own idiosyncratic take on love, life and Los Angeles from the thrift-score side of the tracks. Her biting, crisply ruminative lyrics describe a world populated by gender friction, road-weary emotional traction and the haze of cigarette smoke.

Mandell's subtle rhythmic interplay and emphasis on percussion keep such cuts as "He Thinks He's in Love" and "1970 Red Chevelle" well this side of the singer-songwriter ghetto. May we expect many unhappy returns from this angel of the low-rent district.


We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at [email protected].

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club for as little as $5 a month.