Get Away from Me

Get Away from Me

5.0 2
by Nellie McKay
     
 

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A striking mix of radical and traditional, raw emotion and literate expression, hip-hop and vocal pop, Nellie McKay's Get Away From Me is the kind of feverishly inventive, sprawling album that only comes from very young artists. Though it could've easily fit onto a single CD, it's a double-disc set designed to reclaim the feeling of flipping over a record; theSee more details below

Overview

A striking mix of radical and traditional, raw emotion and literate expression, hip-hop and vocal pop, Nellie McKay's Get Away From Me is the kind of feverishly inventive, sprawling album that only comes from very young artists. Though it could've easily fit onto a single CD, it's a double-disc set designed to reclaim the feeling of flipping over a record; the back cover proclaims that McKay "is a proud member of PETA." While McKay's age (19 at the time of the album's release) and sound make comparisons to Fiona Apple, Nelly Furtado, and Norah Jones easy -- she even named her album Get Away From Me as a preemptive strike against it being lumped in with Jones' Come Away With Me -- McKay is a more esoteric and hyperactively creative artist. She seems determined to prove how smart and wide-ranging she is on the album, and for the most part, she carries it off. Juxtaposing songs like the swoony torch song to New York, "Manhattan Avenue," and "Sari," a rap song about everything that gets on McKay's nerves (including McKay herself), certainly demonstrates the extremes of her music. However, these rapid-fire stylistic shifts and the sheer amount of information that McKay puts in her songs sometimes makes Get Away From Me more dizzying than dazzling. But Get Away From Me succeeds, sometimes in spite of itself, as a musical document of all of the contradictions of a 19-year-old young woman with more than half a brain in her head. Some of McKay's songs deal with fairly typical themes like coming to terms with womanhood, sexuality, and relationships, but McKay attempts to cover as much lyrical ground as she does musical territory, with mixed results. On "Work Song," it sounds like McKay has heard how soul-sucking a nine-to-five can be, but it doesn't have the ring of truth that some of her other songs do. "Ding Dong," on the other hand, deals with depression in a surprisingly sprightly way, and the similarly witty "Clonie" turns human cloning into a story about self-obsession. The traditional feel of McKay's songwriting style and voice and her subversive lyrics often give Get Away From Me the feel of being the soundtrack to some long-lost feminist musical. "It's a Pose" and "Won't U Please B Nice" (sample lyric: "If we part I'll eat your heart") apply McKay's sharp wit to men and love; "I Wanna Get Married" casts a languidly scornful eye on traditional notions of marriage. These songs, along with the equally charming album opener, "David," and closer, "Really," have a lighter touch that avoids the clever-cleverness that drags down some of McKay's work, but is still miles away from the mild-mannered coffee-table jazz she loathes. Get Away From Me is an exciting debut that could become a cult favorite among pissed-off girl-women of McKay's age; if she can focus her creative energy without sacrificing any of the bite of her debut, she'll become an even more impressive talent. [This album was also released in a "clean" edition with all of the profanities removed.]

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Product Details

Release Date:
02/10/2004
Label:
Sony
UPC:
0827969094020
catalogNumber:
90940
Rank:
126984

Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Nellie McKay   Primary Artist,Organ,Synthesizer,Percussion,Piano,Chimes,Glockenspiel,Recorder,Vocals,Xylophone,Vibes
Jay Berliner   spanish guitar
Emily Mitchell   Harp
Joyce Hammann   Violin
Birch Johnson   Trombone
Billy Kaye   Drums
Richard Locker   Cello
Carol Pool   Violin
Andy Snitzer   Clarinet,Tenor Saxophone
Andy Stein   Violin
Corin Stiggall   Electric Bass
Cenovia Cummins   Fiddle,Violin
Jim Hynes   Trumpet,Flugelhorn
Charles Pillow   Flute,Alto Saxophone
Belinda Whitney   Concert Master
Rob Shaw   Violin
Patricia Davis   Violin
Ari Roland   Upright Bass
Jade Synstelien   Guitar,Jun-Jun
Norman Panto   Accordion

Technical Credits

Don McLean   Composer
Kenny Kirkland   Composer
Bennie Moten   Composer
Greg Calbi   Mastering
Geoff Emerick   Producer,Engineer
Paul Holderbaum   Orchestration
Phillip Stewart   Rhythm Consultant
Nellie McKay   Arranger,Composer

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