Throughout Neptune City, Nicole Atkins takes inspiration from some of rock's most famous women -- Stevie Nicks, Chrissie Hynde and Siouxsie Sioux, to name the most prominent. Though only time will tell if she will join the ranks of her inspirations, Atkins shows on this album that she has both the capability and potential. By either happy accident or cunning design, the lush arrangements on Neptune City, which call to mind Rufus Wainwright's Poses or Duke Special's Songs from the Deep Forest, showcase the depth, range, and versatility of Atkins' alto voice, not to mention her songwriting prowess. After years of breathy, lightweight female vocalists, it's a welcome reminder that a woman's voice (in both the physical and literary sense) can have strength and power without losing its appeal. Even on numbers that employ more traditional pop sensibilities, Atkins is anything but vacuous or banal, and while the arrangements are certainly theatrical, they're not overbearingly so. This is evident from the beginning as the album's opener, "Maybe Tonight," starts off with a shimmering piano arpeggio and works into a song that sounds like a Brill Building or '60s girl group holdover for all the right reasons. The comparisons to musicians and styles of the past continue with "Cool Enough" and "Love Surreal," both of which share the cool, quirky, detached elegance that became the signature of Siouxsie and the Banshees later in their career. Coincidentally, or perhaps not, the bombastic "Brooklyn's on Fire!" calls to mind similar pomp found on fellow Siouxsie Sioux fans My Chemical Romance's The Black Parade, albeit with a more cheerful subject and melody. The album's gem is its title track; the chorus sounds enough like an old Roy Orbison tune that it's almost a shock to find that the composition is an Atkins original. In the end, the lyrics and tune take a backseat to Atkins' vocals, which are highlighted through soft backing instrumentals.
|Label:||Red Int / Red Ink|
Performance CreditsNicole Atkins Primary Artist
Peter Lindgard Percussion,Trumpet,Drums
Tore Johansson Acoustic Guitar,Bass,Slide Guitar,Acoustic Bass
Sven Andersson Flute,Saxophone
Jens Lindgard Bass,Guitar,Trombone
Filip Runesson Violin,Cello,Viola
Ulf Turesson Vocals
Daniel Mintzer Drums
Daniel "Shaolun" Chen Electric Piano,Mellotron,Vibes,Reed Organ
Mattias Gustavsson Vocals
Emil de Waal Vocals
Andreas Stellan Vocals
Maria Køhnke Vocals
Solveig Sandnes Vocals
Martin Gjerstad Organ,Piano,Chimes,Mellotron,Vibes,Reed Organ
Dave Hollinghurst Guitar
Technical CreditsTore Johansson Producer
Jens Lindgard Composer
Seth Avett Liner Notes
David Carlsson Engineer
Nicole Atkins Composer
Chris Spooner Art Direction
Martin Gjerstad Composer,String Arrangements
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Neptune City based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Nicole Atkins and the Sea have put together a really great album in Neptune City. While many people could mistake Nicole's music for mere fascimiles of music from times gone by, each of the songs has a psychedelic dark side to it that makes for intriguing listening. Nicole has said that she is really influenced by the movies of David Lynch and the music of Angelo Badalamente and it really shines through in songs like The Way it Is and Neptune City. For me the highlights come from the girl group stylings Maybe Tonight, the James Bond style crooning of The Way It Is, the devilishly addictive Love Surreal and the eerie title track Neptune City. With a new EP right around the corner, now is the perfect time to get to know or reaqquaint yourself with the music of Nicole Atkins.
I also saw Nicole and group on Letterman and was completely captured by their sound...A must for rock lovers......
this was recommended to me by a b&n staffer. how pleased i was to find out how beautiful her music is. different, eclectic, it takes you places you never knew existed. some up beat, some somber, but overall one of the most fascinating and rewarding musical experiences i have ever known. what a fantastic new artist! be sure to check out her other cd "bleeding diamonds". some repeat songs, but the new ones are invigorating!
This is outstanding music. Like a mix of 50s-60s girls group and Alanis Morressette. Great band as well! Sound is unique. Saw them on David Letterman and the rocked!
It's been a very long time since I've found myself enjoying every track on an album. Suddenly here I am at at track 10 yearning for more! The band and Nicole Atkins are fabulous. Her vocals are more than impressive, and at times she belts it better than the best female vocalists of the last decade. I'm stunned and thrilled to have discovered this album! A must-hear, and a must-have!