The cover of Kimya Dawson's fifth solo outing which features slightly disturbing drawings of the singer talking to assorted monsters, robots, ghosts and prehistoric animals gives people a good clue as to what's inside. Simple melodies imprint themselves on the brain after a single listen, as Dawson's girlish, half-talking-half-singing delivery washes over in a jumble of disjointed images. "My Mom" addresses the germs infecting her dying mother's body and somehow manages to be playful and achingly poignant. Similarly, on "Underground" Dawson muses about lost love, unwed motherhood and mortality: "I tattoo instructions on my ass," she sings, "that say, 'Don't ever put this body in a casket/Burn it and put the ashes in a basket/And throw them into Puget Sound.'" The effect is at once touching, humorous and liberating. Dawson's unique style is slightly amateurish, but there's a fierce intelligence working behind the naïve façade. If you like witty wordplay and undisguised emotion served up baby-naked and starry-eyed, this one's for you.
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