Nicole Atkins / Mondo Amore / Razor & Tie
At the age of 14, Nicole Atkins broke her nose at a Blind Melon concert. In 2004, she was “banned” from doing gigs at a small New Jersey locale after performing her own version of Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ On A Prayer”. These two enticing facts paint a portrait of a soul mimicking rebellious songwriters but Mondo Amore outlines a bruised heart, telling stories through stripped down blues rock, adult contemporary pop and a bit of southern twang. Blame the tenacious shift in tone on the 32-year-old’s recent battle with an ex, a band and a record label (Columbia Records); the diversity will either attract or repulse ears. It won’t however, exhibit as much charm as her voice.
On “Vultures”, Atkins, like the track’s violin and guitar, is ominous, being filed into music as just another indie songbird with a half-dead beating heart. That is, until the track actually kicks in, leading into the soulful pop gem “Cry Cry Cry” and the midnight piano cry “Hotel Plaster”, both of which ignite a public showing of sincerity. Mondo Amore does play the blues a little bit louder, exposing a sultry voice capable of shredding your eardrums with lust. “You will come to me,” she howls on the record’s fourth number, begging you to listen to every syllable she projects, making the desire to become afflicted (or in some cases, scarred) with her vintage tone a personal requisite.
Download: “My Baby Don’t Lie”, “You Come To Me”
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