In Defense Of Nellie McKay

I’m gonna put my credibility on the line and recommend Nellie McKay’s new album after only one listen. She’s a 19-year-old songwriter/pianist/rapper. Her flow is totally copped from Paul Barman, but who really cares? She rhymes about high school bullies, Dr. Phil, Paul Wellstone’s funeral … but most of the songs on these two discs (yes, a double CD debut — ballsy) are Tin Pan Alley-style ballads with lines like, “Give me head or you’ll be dead / Salute the flag or I’ll call you a fag.” Hott. Obviously she’s making no attempt to pander to record buyers — this disc is all over the place. There’s a silly song where she serenades her CLONE (whom she affectionately calls Clonie): “The Olsen twins got nothing on us.” Later she calls herself a “yuppie fuck.” It’s a cabaret-pop album with a PARENTAL ADVISORY warning! Full of contradictions. The most original disc(s) I’ve heard all year. Of course, next week I’ll be sick of it. Until then … recommended for fans of MC Paul Barman, The Magnetic Fields, and girls with dirty mouths.

(This is gonna be out of left field … but she reminds me of Kaytee from the short-lived American High series. Anyone know what I’m talking about?)

Tags: Nellie McKay