Title: The Best of the Least
Catalogue Number: SuperPop Records
Review Format: CD
Release Year: 2007
Bluesbunny likes his women feisty. The kind of women who are more likely to pull a knife on you than make you a nice dinner. It makes life altogether more interesting (and you get used to sleeping with one eye open, trust us …). There is usually a point to our ramblings and the point of the previous piece of sordid fantasy was to introduce Hope Irish's album "The Best of the Least". Ms Irish may well come from Texas but she ain't no country gal.
The recipe for success here is clear. Add some punk (UK style, of course) to a stock made of hard driving guitar and bad attitude. Mix in a voice that is part Loretta, part Debbie Harry and part Cathy Rivers and there you have the musical stew that is this album. The noisy opener "Do Wanna" seems conventional enough then things get a bit worrying with "Tie Your Lips". That song would fit nicely on a late sixties' girl group single assuming they liked playing with guns. "Pop Culture" could well become a theme tune for the Bluesbunny as Ms Irish snarls her dissatisfaction at the plastic entertainment that we have to endure. "Pounds Sterling" and "Shelly Baby" reminded us of Billy Childish with their mix of quirkiness and raw delivery. That off kilter view of the world comes back to the surface in "Distant Train" before returning with "Ice Cream Shop Hots" to a more conventional, if saucy, bit of pop. There is that sassy attitude that makes you listen but there is also a swirling undercurrent of darkness to her songs that gives depth and makes you stop and listen again. In many ways, this is more of an urban album, full of shadows and streetlights.
To use one of our very scientific reviewing tests, were we happy after listening to this CD? Indeed we were. It isn't a perfect album by any means but, more importantly, you don't forget it after you hear it. Pausing for thought for a moment, Bluesbunny wonders how established artists can spend a fortune on producing flat, forgettable albums that have none of the imagination and energy of Ms Irish's album. That gave us the idea for a movie. Hope Irish picks up an axe after being denied a major label recording contract and decides to massacre accountants and A&R men and then donates all profits from this public service to protecting cute animals like bunnies. She's the girl to do it as well! Available from CD Baby.
December 12, 2007
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