David Browne
July 12, 1991 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Electric Landlady

type
Music
Current Status
In Season
performer
Kirsty MacColl
genre
Folk, Pop

We gave it a B-

On her third album, Kirsty MacColl, daughter of British folksinger Ewan MacColl, is a folkie who doesn’t want to sound like one. With members of David Byrne’s Latin band, she dabbles in sunny tropical sambas. With former Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr, she pumps up the volume with electric folk-rock and experiments with, of all things, dance-rap of the C+C Music Factory kind. But MacColl’s creamy, pristine voice — the voice of someone who probably grew up singing along to Judy Collins records — is too perfect for its own good. It smothers emotion, particularly when it’s homogenized through double-tracking, and ends up sounding detached from the vibrant arrangements. Folkies rarely make records as adventurous as Electric Landlady, and judging from these uneven results, there’s a good reason. B-

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