Reference CD Review: Nellie McKay
|Obligatory Villagers Hungry Mouse/Vanguard |
Music •••• Sound ••••½
She has made two double albums (Get Away from Me, Pretty Little Head) and played Polly Peachum on Broadway in a revival of The Threepenny Opera. She has contributed songs to the film Rumor Has It and is scoring a movie musical of Katherine Arnoldi's The Amazing True Story of a Teenage Single Mom. Now comes Obligatory Villagers, a 32-minute CD that's still expansive, from an Ellingtonian overture ("Oversure," which, of course, isn't the first track) to a gospel finale ("Testify," which, natch, isn't the last). At the corners: songs about feminists and zombies. Throughout, she arranges and vividly co-produces her all-inclusive pop, as played by jazzmen like David Liebman and Phil Woods. Who is she? She's Nellie McKay and that rhymes with "Y" and that stands for "Year's Best, one of the."