Eleni Mandell: Miracle of Five (Shock)

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Eleni Mandell: Perfect Stranger
Eleni Mandell: Miracle of Five (Shock)

I have no doubt Mandell will be dismissed in some circles as an alt.country Norah Jones -- but that would be a little lazy.

What this album (Mandell's sixth) shares with Jones is an overall low lights mood and the sometimes seductive delivery, but Mandell is more like a torch singer in a hip Nashville club. However it is uneven and adolescent songs like Girls ("do you still dream about girls from high-school") sit awkwardly alongside the more adult and sultry material.

But guitar from Wilco's Nels Cline and some spot-on sophisticated arrangements get her over the hurdle.

So if you like your alt.country with martinis rather than beer here's your soundtrack as you are looking for the swizzle sticks and olives.

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