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PRETTY LITTLE HEAD


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Audio CD
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Product Details

  • Audio CD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: COLUMBIA RECORDS/SONY
  • ASIN: B000B0WOC6
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,289,371 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

It's kind of astonishing, and will seem more and more so with each time you listen to the CD.
Bryant Burnette
It's great to hear an artist stretch out without being indulgent, display humor without being crude and cross musical boundaries without sounding derivative.
WILLIE A YOUNG II
I don't know the whole story about Columbia, but I can see how better production and editing could have made this into a much better album.
Daniel Holland

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

40 of 43 people found the following review helpful By Bryant Burnette on October 31, 2006
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
McKay's sophomore album was famously stopped from release by Columbia Records, who apparently demanded that it be released as a single disc rather than as the double-disc album the artist wanted. Who knows why -- I'm going to speculate that they just didn't want to pony up the meager cost to produce a double album. It's a strange decision, and totally the wrong one -- if you're releasing an album by someone whose individualism is a MAJOR part of their appeal, then you'd have to be nuts to try and step on them.

Luckily, McKay owned the rights to the recordings and was able to self-release the album. In case you're wondering, it's not a letdown. Maybe a leetle self-indulgent here and there, but so what? All art is self-indulgent, and this pretty much all works.

My personal favorites from the album are "Cupcake," the lovely "Long & Lazy River," "We Had It Right" (a duet with k.d. lang), and "Columbia Is Bleeding," but that's just me. As with her first album, McKay tries out a LOT of different styles, ranging here from hip-hop to ballad to pop to yodel, and whereas most musicians would have a hard time roping all those disparate elements into one corral, McKay manages to make it all seem of a piece. It's kind of astonishing, and will seem more and more so with each time you listen to the CD. Sorry, make that "CDs."

Another exceptional effort from an exceptional talent. Buy two and give one to someone you know would never buy it for themselves.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By EddieLove on May 20, 2007
Format: Audio CD
This didn't make the Village Voice's list of the top 30 albums of the year? There's more wit and inventiveness on these discs than can be found in the entire careers of others. Any pop fan can feast on these hooks for months. It sounds like Stephen Sondheim joined an East Village girl group. This woman is a genius.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Violet Robin on November 7, 2006
Format: Audio CD
Buy this album if you are searching for something fun, something quirky, or something you've never heard before! I popped in the album for the first time on a long car ride, and I was completely captivated at first listen. If you are sick of albums that you have to listen to 6 times before you even like or remember the songs, then this one's for you. Nellie's voice isn't beautiful in the Norah Jones way (thank goodness), but it's very rich and very real. Her lyrics are sometimes just fun-silly, often poignant and biting. This album will appeal to all types of listeners...as long as you have a little mischief in you.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Paul Barkowitz on October 31, 2006
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Nellie's back, and she's pulling no punches. Some will say that "Pretty Little Head" is a lot like "Get Away From Me". I actually agree, but I don't think that's a problem.

Every song by Nellie has a unique feel to it. There is tremendous diversity from song to song.

The tunes are great. But, get beyond that and listen to the words. That's where the action is.

All I ask from Nellie is to give us more of the same on her third release. And, don't make us wait so long!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Louis C. Nuyens on April 6, 2008
Format: Audio CD
Very, very witty rapid-fire personal and social satire, wrapped in catchy melodies and a vocal style that would win the 1950s and could be great for the occasional retro musical. If one *must* compare to other artists, one might imagine Elvis Costello with a Doris Day style.

But I think one looks at this artist's material thusfar as promising potential rather than perfection in and of itself.

One looks forward to the compositional choices becoming more inviting and more meaningful.

Inviting: When Nora Jones popped onto the scene, her music had something for everyone and very few turn-offs. The lyrics did not require a highly particular sense of humor to appreciate, and the musical style was even-tempered. In contrast, Nellie McKay's choices have resulted in sort of a potpourri, a bit of a jumble -- very musical but idiosyncratically whimsical and very hard to settle into a groove for the entire album. Some individual tunes are similar to the overall style of her albums, which seem to insist on including everything. The cost is what could be a better outcome if a few elements/numbers were better resolved for the context of the overall effect, or left aside for refinement or some later project. In addition, in some cases individual lyrics might be focused to more powerful effect, while mitigating ways in which they might be a turn-off to some listeners.

Meaningful: While truly witty satire is not all that common, it is far more common than the power to make advantageous observations. Assassinations of social norms or obscure individual characters, cleverly done, can be amusing, but are typically not elevating or lasting.
Read more ›
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By jon sieruga on December 5, 2006
Format: Audio CD
Nellie McKay's long-awaited follow-up to her critically-acclaimed 2004 disc "Get Away From Me" had a troubled delivery (Sony thought two discs was one too many, but McKay stuck to her guns and released this on her own); however, the often-glowing results prove that McKay knows better than anyone how to present, market and manage herself. This two-disc package comes housed in a marvelous gatefold slipcase and includes a number of curious, lovely pics of Nellie McKay looking like a Julie Christie-styled model. The happy batch of songs, while not eclectic enough for some fans perhaps, feature the kind of clever, clipped lyrics and cosmopolitan coffee-shop rock that initially won McKay raves (two of her celeb admirers, Cyndi Lauper and k.d. lang, guest-star here in high style). Some of Nellie's theatrical pretensions (and giggly-cute aberrations) are annoying, but the arrangements are never less than entertaining and her mannered vocals are surprising and beguiling. Even better overall than her debut, "Pretty Little Head" loses just a touch of McKay's plucky innocence but retains all of her showmanship and chutzpah.
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