Signature Sounds 51-2040
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Were The Cars an influential band, or symbolic of the vacuity of the post-punk, pre-grunge early 1980s? Should tribute albums be sweet-voiced faithful renditions, or raw, radical revamps? I’m a big Kris Delmhorst fan, but whether you’ll like her new album depends entirely upon how you answer those two questions. Delmhorst bounces the beat on “Shake It Up,” is off-kilter on “You Might Think,” and coy on “My Best Friend’s Girl,” though her gorgeous straight-up folk take of “Magic” gets my vote for best of show. She grew up listening to The Cars, which poses another conundrum. Some of the music of our youth is classic; some now embarrasses us like old photos of bad haircuts. So is this album a precious small jewel or the sort of inconsequential tshatshke you’d pick up at a sidewalk sale closeout? It depends.