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Wednesday, December 9, 2009


256 KBPS

Imagine Maid Marian, pretty and fair, and a Hip Hop-loving Robin Hood. Well, that's the image I conjure in my mind listening to this CD. Joker's Daughter is Helen Costas, a British Folk singer and on "The last laugh", she teams up with producer du jour Danger Mouse (Gorillaz, Gnarls Barkley, Beck, The Good The Bad & The Queen, Black Keys) to create an album of beautiful other-worldly music. The delicate guitars and orchestral flourishes deftly sprinkled with some electro almost Hip Hop effects, act as the perfect backdrop to her mellifluous vocals.
Interspersed among beautiful acoustic songs like the upbeat "Worm's head", the elfin-sounding "Jesse the goat" (sung in Cypriot Greek) and "Go walking" are atmospheric instrumentals like "The last laugh" (with a choir-like intro and some eerie-sounding piano), and "Chasing ticking crocodile".
Other standouts are the brief "JD Folk Blues" (with a fleeting Xylophone break), the lightly bouncy "Under the influence of Jaffa cakes" (Folk/Pop similar to Suzanne Vega's "Luka"), "Cake and July", and the dreamy "Nothing is ever what it seems" (ghostly harmonies against delicately plucked guitars), but the absolute highlight has got to be the sunny sounding "Lucid", again ghostly harmonies and ethereal spacey effects, with gently pulsing beats coming in the final minute. Danger Mouse must be commended for not over playing his hand and letting the artist take center stage, while carefully and sensitively providing support (Check out the brilliant "Dark night of the soul" by Dangermouse & Sparklehorse).
An outstanding debut. Gorgeous. Quirky. Ethereal. And simply stunning.

1. Worm's Head
2. Jessie The Goat
3. Go Walking
4. Lucid
5. JD Folk Blues
6. The Last Laugh
7. Under The Influence of Jaffa Cakes
8. Jelly Belly
9. Cake and July
10. Nothing Is Ever What It Seems
11. The Running Goblin
12. Chasing Ticking Crocodile
13. Yellow T Pot

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