Simone White’s “I Didn’t Have A Summer Romance” wobbles along in the great tradition of anti-summer songs, all lachrymose trombones and White’s lost-in-the-glare vocals. Born in Hawaii, White sings something like Astrud Gilberto, or like Sandie Shaw as a mooncalf. Replace Shaw’s girl-group pleading with White’s mutational coo, and you have a style that suggests drollery turning into anomie. “The Beep Beep Song” is brilliant whimsy, while the title track finds White declaring herself The Man, so as to control her own oppression. I Am The Man gets a little too sundazed, but it says something that the simplest song is the best. “Mary Jane” stretches out a magical guitar figure into one of those examples of instant, creepy nostalgia that deep accommodation of modality allows. The languor conceals a sharp, politicized observer of the American wasteland, as on “Great Imperialist State”, and White’s songs counter The Man’s depredations with becalmed cool.
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