Diminutive blond powerhouse Nellie McKay pulls enough weight to lure Cyndi Lauper and K.D. Lang into guest spots on her sophomore album, which is as sweet and strong as a cup of sugar-doused espresso. Unlike the cutesy-pie singers flooding the WB these days, McKay is as subversive and creatively stubborn as she is photogenic. A master of pop song form and an accomplished pianist, McKay's songs are melodically biting and loaded with ideas, from the spiraling piano figures, choral harmonies and fight-the-power lyrics of "Big One" and the blissful rumba romance of "I Will Be There" to the Cole Porter nonchalance of "Long and Lazy River." "Real Life" is a new wave coming-of-age classic, like a lost track from Elvis Costello's My Aim Is True. Pretty Little Head is music to delight in and relish, every song a sophisticated tale from a witty song stylist worth watching. Ken Micallef
(Editor's note: This is a review of the "truncated" version of McKay's album. The shortening of the disc by label executives precipitated McKay's withdrawal from her Columbia Records contract and the removal of the album from the label's release schedule two weeks before its Jan. 3 release date. The full version is due to be available for download "sometime in January" via McKay's website, with a retail version available later in 2006.)
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@example.com.
Orlando Weekly works for you, and your support is essential.
Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Central Florida.
Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.
Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Orlando’s true free press free.