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The Charm and the Strange

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Album Review

With help from the rhythm section of Echo & the Bunnymen, singer Simon Wilcox takes the bull by the horns and steers this album in the right direction immediately. The urgent and strong "Bored" is a gritty, edgy rock tune that never falters and flows nicely into the slightly lighter but solid hi-hat dance rock of "Awful Badly." Perhaps the biggest strength the album has is how lean and polished the songs come across, especially radio-friendly pop/rock nuggets like the Coldplay-leaning "Beatbox" and the equally enjoyable, punchy feel that the foot-stomping "Eyes on You" evokes. She even pulls it back out with a French version to close the record. Wilcox rarely lets things sag, although "Disaster Strikes" almost falls into a rather mediocre realm with its rich, dreamy feel. Fortunately, her strong songwriting skills pick the album back up by its proverbial bootstraps with the infectious "Mother's Ruin" whose melody is criminally good. It's as if the musician is intent on giving the listener a filler-free record, and she's delivered on that in spades, even if a gentle piano fleshes out the powerful "Sad Fool." Meanwhile, "Nobody's Sweetheart" could be compared in some respects to the opening moments of Pulp's "Common People." The only tender track is the gentle "Stars Are Gone" which shows another side to Wilcox. The only strange thing about this album is how charming it truly is.


Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s

Simon Wilcox is the daughter of Canadian blues/ folk-rock icon David Wilcox (with whom she has often performed). It isn't hard to see that the acorn did not fall far from the tree, as Simon embarked on her own musical career throughout the late 1990's, first as a member of the Canadian band, Exovedate, then on her own as a solo artist. Her musical style blends rock, hazy jazz and confrontational/confessional blues. Simon Wilcox has performed primarily throughout her native...
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The Charm and the Strange, Simon Wilcox
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