Posted by: will | January 31, 2008

Music Review – Nicole Atkins

BEST NEW MUSIC

Nicole Atkins “Neptune City” (Columbia)

Nicole Atkins burst onto my scene in late 2006/early 2007 with her fabulous Bleeding Diamonds EP. Neptune City is her proper solo debut and it marks perhaps a slight departure for the singer/songwriter. The country flair and darkness of Bleeding Diamonds is toned down a bit here. The overall mood of Neptune City feels lighter and perhaps more accessible overall. However, these changes never distract because the songs have so many memorable strengths to always fall back on.

Atkins’ angelic and seductive voice continues to lead the way. The Roy Orbision comparison continues on Neptune City. Orbison and Atkins have the staccato vocals down to a tee. Just like Orbison could carry his vocals to amazing heights, Atkins has that same amazing ability. When they hit those high notes, you can feel it deep down in your bones. Vocally she also brings to mind such varied female singers as Patsy Cline, Stevie Nicks, Neko Case and Loretta Lynn. Lyrically, Atkins deals with matters of the heart and her imagery is notable. Neptune City deals with that love/hate relationship almost everybody has with their hometown. Atkins was born in Neptune City, New Jersey and obviously it has left a lasting impression. The tongue-firmly-in-cheek choral refrain of I’m sitting over Neptune City/I used to love it/It used to be pretty/I’ll come down/Walk around awhile/Until I’m sure/I can never go home again ring true on many levels. With varied and lush instrumentation of strings and piano, the musical backdrops are full and rich throughout. They are able to match Atkins’ amazing vocals but never overshadow them. Rightfully so, this is Nicole Atkins’ show and what a show it is.

Atkins is a bit of a throwback in this day and age. Her music sounds utterly timeless and my god, that voice. There is such power and grace that Atkins possesses. As her recent performances on the late night talk shows testifies, the lady can flat out bring the house down. In a world dominated by shallow pop stars and American Idol, it is so incredibly refreshing to hear someone as talented as Nicole Atkins knocking on the door of the mainstream. Whether the mainstream chooses to listen is another story. I have a feeling they will though. A star like Nicole Atkins is just too damn bright to not let shine.

Genre: Americana/Pop

RIYL: Neko Case, Roy Orbison, Jenny Lewis

Maybe Tonight

Brooklyn’s On Fire

The Way It Is

Nicole Atkins – Neptune City (video)

www.myspace.com/nicoleatkins

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Responses

  1. Wow! I really like this. It is refreshing!

  2. […] Here is Nicole Atkins’ new video for the song “Maybe Tonight” which is off her fabulous debut album, Neptune City. […]


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