LUCY WOODWARD HOOKED(VERVE)
Lush vocal, big band or- chestrations and a sense of humor highlight Lucy Woodward’s new CD Hooked. Woodward’s third CD is a mé- lange of her own original composi- tions—she co-wrote most of the songs—and classics, including “San Souci,” made famous by Peggy Lee, Hoagy Carmichael’s “Stardust” and “I Wan’na Be Like You (The Monkey Song)” from The Jungle Book.The result is a modern torch album, with Woodward as a smart and sassy chanteuse. She explores lost love in the rollicking “He Got Away,” pure lust in “Ragdoll,” baby lust in the apty titled “Babies,” and a mistress’s lamentation in “Another Woman,” written by Nellie McKay. Woodward sounds like she’s having a blast, her sense of humor and sense of fun are evident from the get-go. Many of the songs are catchy, but Woodward never sacrifices her musicianship for the gimmick. She melds the two effortlessly, making Hooked the kind of CD you’ll listen to over and over again.
MARINA & THE DIAMONDS THE FAMILY JEWELS
The Family Jewels is not a CD from some retro-sounding band, but rather the debut CD from Welsh singer Marina Lambrini Diamandis, who goes by the stage name Ma- rina & the Diamonds.And what a debut it is. Marina’s voice is unique in its depth, and she uses it to great effect on catchy numbers like “Hollywood,” an insightful take on American culture and celebrity, or the CD’s breakout hit “I Am Not a Robot,” a raw look at relation- ships. Don’t look for love songs or romance here; these songs are provocative commentaries on love life and sex. Marina & the Diamonds has real personality that comes through the music, a nice change from the cookie cutter cuties that populate the airwaves.The radio-ready songs on The Family Jewels are a little New Wave, a little alternative pop, and a little punk, and Marina & the Diamonds is endlessly enjoyable, danceable and singable.