Mondo Amore

Mondo Amore

by Nicole Atkins
     
 

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Nicole Atkins has the sort of elegant, supersized voice that belongs to an earlier era. On 2007's Neptune City, she set up shop in the Eisenhower years, channeling Phil Spector and Roy Orbison via a moody mix of piano-bar ballads, nocturnal torch songs, and girl group…  See more details below

Overview

Nicole Atkins has the sort of elegant, supersized voice that belongs to an earlier era. On 2007's Neptune City, she set up shop in the Eisenhower years, channeling Phil Spector and Roy Orbison via a moody mix of piano-bar ballads, nocturnal torch songs, and girl group melodies. Mondo Amore continues the trend by keeping an eye on the past, but it shifts everything forward by one decade, mining blues-rock and late-'60s psychedelia instead of Brill Building pop. Dovetailing with those new influences are three recent breakups -- Atkins' severance from Columbia Records, her divorce from her original backup band, and a split with her longtime boyfriend -- all of which push Mondo Amore into fiery, guitar-driven, even borderline feral territory. During its quieter moments, though, the album builds upon the pretty, cosmopolitan retro-pop of its predecessor, meaning Mondo Amore doesn't turn its back on Nicole Atkins' roots as much as widen her sound. That being said, this is a very different album. Neptune City was a bittersweet ode to Atkins' hometown, shot through with nostalgia and memories of the boyfriends she left behind. Mondo Amore, with its lean, muscled rock songs and scaled-down production, is a kiss-off to the boy she met after relocating to New York. "Our love's a dark disaster since I turned on the light," she sings on "Cry Cry Cry," a barbed pop tune that splits the difference between Motown and garage rock. Three songs later, an enraged Atkins -- her vocals scuffed up by a distortion filter -- stomps her way through the electric country-blues of "My Baby Don't Lie," threatening to give a black eye to the girl who's been running around with her boyfriend. The outro to "You Come to Me" evokes a young Ann Wilson, and "You Were the Devil" -- with its spaghetti Western arrangement and low, ominous vocals -- takes its cues from Nancy Sinatra's duets with Lee Hazlewood. That's a lot of musical real estate to cover, but Nicole Atkins makes the songs sound like her own property, and they all serve as a showcase for her voice: a big, hefty instrument that rarely weighs its owner down. Mondo Amore may work best as a companion piece to Neptune City -- the fast 'n' furious yang to that album's soft, pleasant yin -- but it's got more than enough raw emotion to hold its own weight.

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Product Details

Release Date:
02/08/2011
Label:
Razor & Tie
UPC:
0793018311120
catalogNumber:
83111
Rank:
69346

Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Nicole Atkins   Primary Artist,Synthesizer,Acoustic Guitar,Piano,Vocals
Danny Clinch   Harmonica
David Moltz   Guitar
Phil Palazzolo   Guitar,Piano,Background Vocals
Jeff Plate   Vocals
Brendan Ryan   Organ
Jim James   Vocals
Irina Yalkowsky   Guitar,Slide Guitar
Adam Christgau   Drums
Gillian Rivers   Violin
Allison Seidner   Cello
Dan Chen   Organ,Piano
Christopher Donofrio   Drums
Bradley York   Guitar
Anthony Chick   Bass Guitar
Jeremy Kay   Bass
Isabell Fairbanks   Cello
Gary Tedder   Vocals
Foley Stewart   Background Vocals,Slide Guitar

Technical Credits

Dan Wilson   Composer
Robert Harrison   Composer,Lyricist
Phil Palazzolo   Producer,Engineer
Nicole Atkins   Arranger,Composer,Lyricist,Producer
Dan Chen   Composer,Engineer
Bradley York   Composer
Michael Crowell   Cover Model
Ryan Turner   Illustrations

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