Anne McCue

Music Reviews
Anne McCue

Anne McCue seemed poised for big things after 2004’s Roll. The exciting album found the singer/guitarist mixing the emotional sizzle of Lucinda Williams (a McCue supporter) with Hendrix-style instrumental ?ash, needing only a stronger identity of her own. Koala Motel, however, suffers from an attack of cold feet, as the Australian-born McCue often retreats to a smooth, more anonymous sound. While she’s captivating on the accordion-washed “Bright Light of Day,” a tender morning-after love story, her mild-mannered voice can’t salvage routine material such as the clunky seven-minute ballad “Shivers” or “Hell?re Raiser,” a plodding, Crazy Horse-lite rocker. Tantalizing ?ashes of brilliance suggest what might have been. McCue punctuates a sultry cover of Tony Joe White’s “As the Crow Flies” with scalding guitar; the gorgeous and unsettling “From Bakers?eld to Saigon” wanders down “a one-way street of darkness and decay.” Mostly, she’s content to craft an agreeable soundtrack for Sunday brunch, which is a genuine shame.

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