Princess Chelsea: Lil' Golden Book (Lil' Chief)

 |   |  1 min read

Princess Chelsea: Cigarette Duet
Princess Chelsea: Lil' Golden Book (Lil' Chief)

Cleverly packaged to replicate a Little Golden Book (but with appropriately dark illustrations), this album by Chelsea Nikkel (with Jonathan Bree formerly of the Brunettes co-producing) walks a narrow line between twee sounding childlike pop and those more menacing undertones found in children's stories like the Grimms' fairytales.

So here you have Ice Reign which warns that people can be mean (wars and online) "so start being civil, courteous too or it will be off with your head".

There is also this: "Life in New Zealand is pleasant enough, when we turn 22 it's not violent enough, we want fast pace and fast trains and much bigger clubs, we want money and kudos and much stronger drugs . . ." So we go overseas where we do the same things with not much space of the subways and come home two years later "with a sigh of relief, but we say it was better".

This is clever and clear writing. There are warnings about drinking too much "or you'll only end up like your dad" (a deftly "orchestrated" piece), and the Cigarette Duet (with Bree) is a him-and-her discussion over the health risk. Sort of Nancy and Lee without the innuendo and metaphors.

By the lyrics and messages being kept simple, they perfectly match the cute music which most often sounds like it has come from a nursery (Monkey Eats Banana).

Amidst the more general cruelness and truth-speaking ("You could be something great, but something great is nothing new" and "You will die and cannot save your life") is a more direct swipe at the former popera star Yulia who has married an older man/her manager which lifts a line from the Exponents' Victoria ("what do you see in him?").

And the opening of Frack cleverly suggests a childlike version of Springsteen's Philadelphia.

So this clever, barbed, tart and avoids the tweeness of its surfaces by being so mischievous and sharp. It does feel a little long at fortysomething minutes, but it I doubt it is intended to be listened to in a single sitting.

Dip and dive. This is enjoyably sweet'n'sour.

Like the sound of this? Then try this.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

The Green Pajamas: Summer of Lust (Green Monkey)

The Green Pajamas: Summer of Lust (Green Monkey)

Green Pajamas out of Seattle are one of the great, if largely ignored, pysch-pop band (think Rubber Soul/Revolver) and at last they have got around to releasing . . . their debut album?... > Read more

The Duke and the King: Nothing Good Can Stay (Shock)

The Duke and the King: Nothing Good Can Stay (Shock)

The singer-songwriter behind this gorgeously tuneful, lyrically probing debut is Simone Felice of the terrific Felice Brothers, two times Best of Elsewhere artists (2007, 2008) for their amalgam of... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

STAGE DESIGNER ZOE ATKINSON INTERVIEWED (2013): Getting to grips with Wagner's Flying Dutchman

STAGE DESIGNER ZOE ATKINSON INTERVIEWED (2013): Getting to grips with Wagner's Flying Dutchman

Australian set and costume designer Zoe Atkinson explodes with laughter, mock horror and a frisson of fear when I tell her she has just given me my headline. “No, you can't say... > Read more

ZIGGY AT 40 (2012): The star who fell to Earth

ZIGGY AT 40 (2012): The star who fell to Earth

Judging by the indifference of people in swanky Heddon Street just off London's Regent St, no one had read the wall plaque I was photographing. In London there are plaques everywhere... > Read more