Joanna Barbera

Girlie Action

Texas Platters

Joanna Barbera

Forget

Joanna Barbera has a penchant for heartache, or at least an active wellspring for it. While there's no shortage of lamentation on her sophomore album Forget, the misery suits her, voice wavering between an unhurried Karen O and a kind of Patsy Cline croon, hard to place but conspicuous. And she has two gears: fast freewheelin' or slow heartbreak. She sticks with the dirges mostly, but when the heartbeat races for "New York City" and "Just as Well," we hear Barbera at her best. The former capitalizes on Big Apple seduction in the key of honky-tonk, while the barrage of the latter could've appeared on a Yeah Yeah Yeahs album. That said, her heart clearly lies with slower turns such as "Time" and "Good Shoes," delivered with stilling effect.

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