Patricia Vonne

Rattle My Cage (Bandolera Records)

Texas Platters

Patricia Vonne

Rattle My Cage (Bandolera Records)

Notching a decade of local discs, Patrica Vonne's fifth full-length prevails in any Cage match over its predecessors. The opening title track may be the best hook in her catalog, its riff half "Day Tripper," half Bryan Adams' "Run to You," even if her voice plays second fiddle to the tune's AOR muscle. Smoldering rejoinder "Dark Mile" would fit right in with her brother's film Desperado. Even better is Vonne's Spanish on "Que Maravilla", where, toward song's end, the production recedes and her tremulous voice pings one of the LP's best moments. That ultimate prize belongs to "Bitter Need," a piano ballad evoking everyone from Fiona Apple and Regina Spektor to Barbra Streisand, no doubt the local firebrand's best moment on disc. Alejandro Escovedo, a co-conspirator here along with Rosie Flores and Doyle Bramhall, hit with a song about castanets, and no Austinite wields them like this leading lady, whose "Dulce Refugio" dances hot on a tabletop. A pair of jarring Continental Club shuffles prove Vonne's versatility, but when she sticks to her specialties, such as surf closer "Mexicali de Chispa" – written with sibling Robert Rodriguez – there's a reason why you could swear you know that tune from Once Upon a Time in Mexico.

***

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