What does it sound like?:
Nicole Atkins is now on her fourth album in ten years, never quite fulfilling the promise of her debut. Her voice is torched and operatic, often compared to Roy Orbison, and she has a tortured soul to match. Her wild drinking has undoubtedly held her back, leading to some ill advised decisions throughout her career. Now, she is back on the wagon, has written some frank, confessional songs and hooked up with the retro-Soul Niles City Sound that served Leon Bridges so well. Rhonda Lee is her alter-ego, her bad self who drank too much and got into all sorts of trouble. This is an album in which she gives herself a good long talking to and finally grows up.
She still likes to live on the edge, though. This album was recorded live with the full band in a Fort Worth studio. It took less than a week. Her songwriting has stepped up, exploiting the colour, dynamism and range of her voice much better. The opener, A Little Crazy, written with Chris Izaak, is as melodramatic as Orbison’s Crying. Brokedown Luck’s sweaty, bluesy horns are reminiscent of Otis Redding. For both songs, she » Continue Reading.