Eleni Mandell, Artificial Fire

Eleni Mandell, Artificial Fire

What’s most exciting, and most maddening, about Eleni Mandell is that just when you think you’ve got her figured out, she spins off in a new direction. And yet, whether cranking out a roots-pop tour de force like 2004’s Afternoon or offering up 2007’s duskily noir Miracle Of Five, she’s never lost her own identity. Artificial Fire confronts that head-on, with Mandell all over the place but still sounding like herself. She amps up the rock and roll quotient on the spirited “Little Foot” and “Cracked,” while “In The Doorway” is so soft and dreamy that you barely notice the guy’s hand up her skirt. Mandell’s lyrics are still both straightforward and evocative; “Personal,” for instance, begins “My eyes are the color of martini olives / I only drink two, never three.” With some odd but satisfying detours like “God Is Love” (which combines vaguely off-center drum clatter with a guitar that sounds like a clock continuously winding down) and the cracked-bell chimes hooking “Front Door,” Artificial Fire doesn’t do anything resembling hanging together. But it would be difficult to grab three random songs and not end up holding at least two winners.

(Zedtone Records -- 440 Markham Street, Toronto, ON, M6G 2L2, CANADA; http://www.zedtone.com/; Eleni Mandell -- http://www.elenimandell.com/)
BUY ME: Amazon

Review by . Review posted Saturday, June 20th, 2009. Filed under Features, Reviews.

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Leave a Reply

H-Town Mixtape

Upcoming Shows



Recent Posts


Our Sponsors