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Big-T & the Bada-Bings


The Lascivious Biddies

Never have I wanted to learn the lyrics to a song as badly as when first hearing "Rhode Island is Famous for You", the opening track on the debut CD by New York's Lascivious Biddies. The uptempo ditty exemplifies the super-cute but not-too-sweet sounds of this talented all-girl quartet, and will have you hankering for more by the second chorus.

The rest of the album is a mix of cabaret tunes, torch songs, and folksy jazz tracks—all Biddie originals, save for two numbers by Django Haskins and three covers at the end, including slow, brooding versions of "Paper Moon" and The Go-Go's classic "Head Over Heels." The originals are truly that arrangements that seem surprisingly simple in their execution. Singer Leeann Westover and pianist Deidre Rodman seem to share a particular affection for spirited senior citizens, as evidenced by Westover's kicky "Ethel and Esther", the tale of two golden girls reminiscing about their youth, and "Alice," Rodman's ode to a flirty granny who seduces the neighborhood postman.

On rare occasions, the foursome becomes overly enamoured of their own musical prowess, particularly on "The Idle Boy", which idles on a bit too long. But the pensive jazz numbers balance out the infectious sing-alongs very nicely, resulting in an album that is both broad in scope and well-rounded.

Not a single song on this eclectic 13-track collection is what you might expect, and every one will have you pricking up your ears. The harmonies will send chills down your spine, and the Biddies' smiling faces on the back cover will make your heart pitter-pat. If you are not sworn to "The Anthem" by the end of this album, alas, dear friend, you are beyond salvation.

—Leslie Rosenberg

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Skip Heller—Career Suicide: The Essential Skip Heller 1994-2001

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