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Naree - Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

Naree

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A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Mark S. Tucker
(progdawg@hotmail.com).

Doug Cameron tried to craft this kind of pop-rock in a release or two that were ultimately saccharine and overwrought; Naree has deftly avoided that in her EP, opting to weigh in with strong melodics, captivating hooks, and a very believable tone in voice and inflection, nothing left to artifice, everything rooted in memory and immediacy. Her backing band's a tight unit buttressing the dynamics perfectly, fitting the singer adroitly in a matrix swirling around her.

Kazuto Maekawa played drums, produced, engineered, and mastered the release with a deft ear to the sort of sonic perfection that marked the Billy Idol and Mission UK releases, an environment pulling the audience in before it even knows what happened. Naree (Rebecca Naree Londie, a Thai-Brit young lady raised in Abu Dhabi…and a feisty cancer survivor) co-produced the affair and, thus, can claim a technical discretion matching her music. Would it surprise you, then, to learn she opened for Pink at Dubai Festival City two years ago and that this pre-release is a staging ground for her third disc? I suspect she'd have done equally well with Goldfrappe or any number of kindred sounds.

There's a generous inclusion of balladic material as well, songs that layer and swell while remaining demure, even when impassioned. However, the "bonus track" features synthesist Jaime Jimenez in a lead line that really brightens up the whole mix and opens a stratum Naree definitely needs to think about following, as it lends a very attractive late-period Manfred Mann dimension to her music (and I'd've loved to have heard the versions of the vocoded singing that remained in the cans on this cut, Glamour Kills!). Oh, and I finally figured what she was doing in that unusual damped-chord intro to Deceive Me. At first I thought the bassist was gently thumbing a repeating note…until I realized Naree had left a string open for ostinato. Clever girl! I can't remember hearing that trick done quite that way before.

Track List:

  • Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
  • Life's Lesson
  • Never Leave You Alone
  • A Song Written on an Arm
  • Deceive Me (Before We Get Too Close)
  • Glamour Kills
All songs written by Naree.

Edited by: David N. Pyles
(dnpyles@acousticmusic.com)

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Copyright 2009, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.
 

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