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  Listen Up! 12/23/03 Listen Up!

Tuesday, Dec. 23

Nellie McKay, Get Away From Me, Columbia Records. Here we have a teenage prodigy who seems way more interested in Broadway show tunes than contemporary pop, though she doesnt ever give in to the most blatant mannerisms of the theatre, either. And, then, shell drop in some hip-hop influence, or rnb, and you dont know exactly what to think. Its not like shes a master of any of these, just someone who likes to use flavors from different cultures to make herself a little more exotic. I think maybe somewhere down the road, she may make a really good record. This isnt it, yet, though. It sounds like the most talented high school songwriter in the variety show has decided to put on a one-woman play. She has brought Geoff Emerick out of retirement to produce her stuff, which is an accomplishment. Im not sure why we need two discs of this, though. It may have worked better if theyd weeded out some of the weaker material.

--Steve Pick


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