Album Reviews

Nicole Atkins – Slow Phaser (Oh Mercy! Records)

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Nicole Atkins Slow PhaserIf Nicole Atkins has proven anything, it’s that this Jersey-born singer-songwriter is crazy consistent. Since her 2007 debut, Neptune City, Atkins has delivered some of the most alluring pop music of the last decade. Her latest release, Slow Phaser, follows suit as Atkins continues crooning through wry cuts about pretentious boyfriends, hipsters and life on the road.

Although Phaser may not have a standout a la “Vultures” or “The Way It Is,” the whole is greater than the sum of its parts here. She continues flexing pop muscle in the coolest of ways (“Girl You Look Amazing”); she refuses to abandon her penchant for the 60’s with singalong-worthy choruses and slick plucking (“It’s Only Chemistry”); she brazenly calls her God a “son of a bitch” and a “Holy shit” (“Sin Song”). The ebbs and flows of the album unravel nicely, with tinges of psychedelic gusto, country soul, and raw emotion, all served steam-fresh amid plenty of pop ambience.

Recorded in Sweden with producer Tore Johansson (The Cardigans, Franz Ferdinand), Slow Phaser is a fitting companion to Atkins’s other work, and a welcomed next step from an artist riding high on her musical journey.

– Nick Caruso    

Slow Phaser comes out in February 2nd, 2014

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