Mondo Amore

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Andrew Leahey
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 ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Andrew Leahey
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: 2/8/2011
  • Label: Razor & Tie
  • UPC: 793018311120
  • Catalog Number: 83111
  • Sales rank: 1,617

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Vultures (4:12)
  2. 2 Cry Cry Cry (3:07)
  3. 3 Hotel Plaster (3:38)
  4. 4 You Come To Me (3:46)
  5. 5 My Baby Don't Lie (2:30)
  6. 6 This is For Love (3:42)
  7. 7 You Were the Devil (2:50)
  8. 8 War is Hell (4:30)
  9. 9 Heavy Boots (4:47)
  10. 10 The Tower (5:51)
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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 Sr. Cover Model
Ryan Turner Illustrations
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