May 20, 2010

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Kate Miller-Heidke, Curiouser
Sin Records, March 16
Miller-Heidke is an award-winning Australian signed to Sony Records over there, while here in the States she’s unknown to a large extent, another lesson in how life ain’t fair. Combining the disparate songwriting strengths of Nelly Furtado and Siouxsie with the equally odd-bedfellow sounds of Ting Tings, Kylie Minogue, Pink, Goldfrapp and Sarah McLachlan is a tough task, and pretty freaking different too — writing off this classically trained whatchamacallit as anything less than a kinder, gentler Lady Gaga is unfair to everybody – I can’t find a weak song on this album. There are quiet but overtly Meatloaf-ish theatrics to “I Like You Better When You’re Not Around,” for one thing — think Ting Tings doing a soft-lit filler bit for Glee — and when she wants to she can write big, big tunes, like the McLachlan-killer “The Last Day on Earth.” Leadoff song “The One Thing I Know” is a serious clubber, crossing Janet Jackson with Ashley Simpson, high-pitched boops added for odd but very accessible effect. A+Eric W. Saeger