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City Beach
     

City Beach

by Jill Cunniff
 

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Upon first listen, "Lazy Girls," the opening song on City Beach, seems like nothing more than an appealingly lazy, hazy way to kick off the first solo album from former Luscious Jackson leader Jill Cunniff, but it soon becomes clear that her praise of slow, leisurely afternoons, laid-back boys, and orange popsicles isn't just a pop confection, it's a rallying

Overview

Upon first listen, "Lazy Girls," the opening song on City Beach, seems like nothing more than an appealingly lazy, hazy way to kick off the first solo album from former Luscious Jackson leader Jill Cunniff, but it soon becomes clear that her praise of slow, leisurely afternoons, laid-back boys, and orange popsicles isn't just a pop confection, it's a rallying cry. "Life's to enjoy," she sings at the conclusion of its chorus, and it's a sentiment she repeats on "Happy Warriors," when she insists that "when are you feeling down/let the record spin around" -- and if these ideas sound a little pat on paper, they sound seductive as music, particularly because Cunniff sustains a wonderfully warm, slyly jazzy mood throughout the record. This often does evoke memories of Luscious Jackson -- it's pop music with a casual eclecticism, underpinned by rolling hip-hop beats and highlighted by flourishes of funk, jazz, and Brazilian bossa nova -- but where Jackson occasionally seemed as if they were in a rush to jam as many styles into their sound as possible, Cunniff digs deeper into her idiosyncrasies, creating music that feels unhurried and flows easily. City Beach never hits hard, never seems forced, but even if this is deliberately lazy music, that doesn't mean that it lacks hooks or structure: if anything, the best songs here -- like the glistening, tight pop of "Exclusive" or the steamy, trippy "NYC Boy" or the stomping "Future Call," the closest this gets to being hard-edged -- are more immediate than Luscious Jackson, evidence that Cunniff's skills as a writer are sharpening. But the best thing about City Beach is how Cunniff easily sucks you into her particular worldview, where things don't need to be as desperately frenetic as they are in the thick of the 21st century. During the sultry crawl of "Warm Sound," she suggests that we should "start the century again at a slower pace" -- and based on the sweet and slow City Beach, it's hard not to agree with her.

Product Details

Release Date:
02/20/2007
Label:
Militia
UPC:
0878840004522
catalogNumber:
45

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Jill Cunniff   Primary Artist,Bass,Guitar,Vocals,Wurlitzer,Vox Organ
Emmylou Harris   Background Vocals
Robert Aaron   Saxophone,Wurlitzer
John Bollinger   Drums
Tony Mangurian   Drums
Danny Madorsky   Guitar
Dave Schommer   Percussion,Drums,Keyboards
Sam Hollander   Keyboards
Matt Chiaravalle   Keyboards
Singh Birdsong   Guitar
Boots Ottestad   Guitar
DJ Kaz Gamble   Delay
Rachael Yamagata   Keyboards,Background Vocals
Nathan Rosenberg   Keyboards
S*A*M   Drums,Keyboards

Technical Credits

Jill Cunniff   Programming,Producer,Art Direction,Instrumentation,Cover Painting
Danny Madorsky   Programming,Producer
Dave Schommer   Programming,Producer,Engineer,Sound Design
Sam Hollander   Programming,Sound Design
DJ Kaz Gamble   Sound Effects
Nathan Rosenberg   Programming,Producer,Engineer,Sound Design
S*A*M   Programming,Producer
Mary Moogman   Author
Piper   Artwork,Paintings

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