Bree Sharp - More B.S.
More B.S., the latest release from Philly-born songwriter Bree Sharp, includes plenty of the acerbic social commentary that propelled her quirky breakout hit, "David Duchovny." Sharp, whose distinct warble occasionally sounds like a funkier, smarter (and less drugged-out) Belinda Carlisle fronting Ani DiFranco’s band, offers nothing as immediately radio-ready as "David Duchovny" on this turn, but what she does have is much better than novelty: a collection of songs inviting and rewarding reflection.
Sharp’s tilt-of-the-head is certainly twisted. In "Dirty Magazine" she gleefully—and unapologetically—constructs a narrative about a 13-year-old runaway who dreams of being pimped out in porn. Much like "America" off her 1999 debut, A Cheap and Evil Girl, "Lazy Afternoon," is a deconstruction of commercial culture, and it’s as deliciously self-effacing as it is pointed and uncompromising.
But More B.S. is most compelling when it turns introspective. A story about an outlaw couple on the lam, "The Ballad of Grim and Lily" (written with David Baerwald and David Ricketts), is inarguably tender, as is the nostalgia-tinged regret of "Sunday School and Cigarettes (Slipping Away)." Even the tripped out "Galaxy Song" offers kind encouragement in its affirmation that we are "not alone in the galaxy." And while her remake of Don Henley’s "The Boys of Summer" is a musical miscue, the notion of someone so young pining, "Don’t look back, Honey, never look back," is evocative and even heartbreaking—suggestive of a thoughtfulness rarely associated with coffeehouse-folk-punk irony.