UNCUT - - New Albums - Amer­i­cana trib­ute by for­mer Howl­ing Bell Alex MAcpHer­son

Amer­ica NUde 6/10 Ex-Howl­ing Bells lead singer Juanita Stein’s solo de­but is a lov­ingly crafted paean to Amer­i­cana of all stripes, from South­ern Gothic coun­try to swoon­ing Lynchian moods. Her styli­sa­tion is on point through­out: Stein’s silky voice has long de­served ar­range­ments as sump­tu­ous as “It’s All Wrong” or the string-swept “Florence”, and on “I’ll Cry” she even sounds mo­men­tar­ily and un­can­nily like that other modern ex­po­nent of meta-ex­plo­rations of Amer­ica, Lana Del Rey. If one thing is lack­ing, though, it’s grav­i­tas: Stein mostly car­ries an air of pleas­ant po­lite­ness, which rather fails to con­vey the dark­ness be­neath tales of gam­bling ad­dicts and bot­tles of bour­bon in the fridge.

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