Roots

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Music Reviews - Tony Hil­lier

The Other Side of the Girl Diana May Clark In­de­pen­dent

As the ti­tle may sug­gest, Diana May Clark, who’s best known for her prow­ess as a chic bossa nova crooner, turns the other cheek and dis­plays a dif­fer­ent side of her oeu­vre — one that may sur­prise her ad­mir­ers. On The Other Side of the Girl the Mel­bur­nian diva is backed by, among oth­ers, string bender ex­traor­di­naire Doug de Vries and multi-in­stru­men­tal­ist and pro­ducer Greg Arnold of Things Of Stone & Wood fame, on an al­bum of self-com­posed sin­ga­long songs that mixes Beat­lesque pop with Musica Pop­u­lar Brasileira flair and el­e­ments of other gen­res. De Vries, Aus­tralia’s premier prac­ti­tioner of acous­tic seven-string Brazil­ian-style guitar, re­veals another side of his play­ing, un­leash­ing scream­ing elec­tric so­los on sev­eral tracks — most aptly in the funky Flu­o­res­cent — and adding twangy tremolo to Tango Noir. Clark’s sen­su­al­ity and sassi­ness drips from the retro rocker In Love with Love and the funky Blue­print, which re­spec­tively open with sug­ges­tive lines: “steal­ing the sweet­est bite of the stone fruit’s juicy skin / rasp­berry gin bub­bles and bounces off my chin” and “I like your blue­print and all its glitches / such a sweet, sleek de­sign, so catchy it itches”. Batu­cada Bonde has reg­gae/ska un­der­pin­ning a la Car­lin­hos Brown. Mama Africa gets a quirky makeover cour­tesy of de Vries’s banjo, while that song’s Brazil­ian com­posersinger, Chico Ce­sar, con­trib­utes a groovy vo­cal im­pro­vi­sa­tion to Clark and part­ner’s part­ing song, Hang On. Mu­si­cally, rhyth­mi­cally and lyri­cally, The Other Side of the Girl of­fers pol­ished pas­tiche.

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