Erin Ivey & the Finest Kind
Broken Gold (Mixtank)
Reviewed by Audra Schroeder, Fri., Feb. 18, 2011
Erin Ivey & the Finest KindBroken Gold (Mixtank)
Erin Ivey's got a voice that could be easily relegated to retro-jazz purgatory or novelty (see: the Reid's Cleaners commercial). So thank goodness she steps into her own here. The local singer-songwriter's second LP finds her far from 2007 debut The 11th Floor and, along with R&B trio the Finest Kind, taking control of the ship. Her siren call guides the album through several channels, from slow-cooking opener "Sorrow No More," ably assisted by Ephraim Owens' sultry trumpet, to toe-tapping rap ("Go! Go! Go!"). The latter's an odd choice, but it doesn't feel like style-biting. Instead, Ivey makes it a modern woman's mantra. Elsewhere, she speaks French ("Chocolate"), indulges in dub lite ("You Got Your Wishes Wrong"), and pays tribute to Amelia Earhart. Some songs, like "Little Star," drop the momentum, but closer "Sing Out" picks up the dub vibe again, and Ivey's voice needs no echo or effects to sound warm and inviting. By dipping toes outside her comfort zone while also making an accessible album, she can hopefully transcend the vanilla rut of triple-A and start her own cult.