Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Lenka - Two

Album Review
April 2011


Cutely catchy Aussie finds love, doubles her fun

For pop songwriter Lenka Kripac, former singer and keyboardist with Sydney post-rock band Decoder Ring, good things really do come in pairs. On her second solo album, the recently-engaged Brooklyn resident savors couplehood, with enough sweetly hooky tunes to please fans of Kate Nash, Regina Spektor or even Adele.

Not that Two is just a lovey-dovey rehash of Lenka's self-titled debut. That album's big song was "The Show," a Broadway-ready production that compared life to a performance. By contrast, first Two single "Heart Skips a Beat" uses robotic vocal shadings to wrestle with a new love's anxieties. Lenka's latest not only ditches its predecessor's mild melancholy, it also sheds most of its theatricality, embracing electronics like a beaming fiancé. If Lenka was meant for the stage, Two feels like it was meant for the radio.

Lenka's Australian-accented voice still chirps winsomely over jaunty ivories, and sometimes the strings do stretch toward Phil Spector's Wall of Sound. But the production team here — which includes guys who've overseen albums for Bat for Lashes and Björk — rarely shies away from sleekly emotive electro-pop. Take late-album highlight "You Will Be Mine," harp-inflected Eurodance halfway between Saint Etienne and Britney Spears. For sure, Lenka's lyrics have little on her countrymen — and past collaborators — Darren Hanlon or the Lucksmiths. And she's hardly breaking new ground. As bubblegum-tinted pop goes, though, Two is pure Doublemint.

courtesy of eMusic.com, Inc., © 2011 eMusic.com

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Press Mentions

"Goes over the top and stays there to very nice effect."
-- David Carr, The New York Times

"I wasn't fully convinced. But I was interested."
-- Rob Walker, The New York Times

"...as Marc Hogan wrote in Spin..."
-- Maureen Dowd, The New York Times

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