Edith Frost

Wonder, Wonder (Drag City)

On her latest album, Wonder Wonder, Edith Frost comes on like a dream, all peaches and cream, and then, before you know what's happened, you're hooked on these low, slow girl tunes, sucked under the current of her ebbing voice. Some stylistic reference points include Lou Reed, the Beatles (circa Sgt. Peppers or Magical Mystery Tour) and even some Yoko Ono. Lyrics deal with emotional estrangement, moves from small towns to big towns, one-night stands and, of course, love. These themes acquire sweet definition by a round but wavering alto voice that often dips lower than it technically should. When it does, as on the title track "Wonder Wonder," it's perfectly onomatopoeic, sliding down with the lines "always/my wondering mind/takes me right down/to the bottom of the basement."

The music to "Fear" recalls old silent film scores for bayou epics (for a local analog, consider Western Robot's album). The words are basically Frank Herbert's "fear is the mind killer" used as the skeleton for an antique love song. "Cars and Parties" is the most upbeat track on the album that doesn't deal with romantic love. It's a great marching anthem about how even when you leave home, the new digs tend to look very familiar -- and yet a trip home seems to be out of reach because, well, "there's too many parties."

Warning: may not be suitable for those with freshly broken hearts or longtime lonelies.

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