August 20, 2009

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Maia Sharp, Echo
Crooked Crown Records, Aug. 11

Sharp’s lumbering soccer-mom-rock is brought to you this time by Don Was, who has now officially produced every artist you’ve ever heard of. This collaboration came to pass after Bonnie Raitt returned some favors of Sharp’s, specifically some opening-act help and (much more importantly) songwriting hackery. What this means to the consumer is that you’ll have Sharp’s amateurish, pre-menopausal croon coming at you from many radio angles and surely from your flat-screen — Desperate Housewives could find montage-background homes for every unexcited burst of toddler-safe rebellion on this inanimate lump.

But don’t listen to me — when the wife has us watching something Hallmark or Desperate Housewives-ian, I pass the time by whining about the lack of grenade-launching cannibal Terminators popping out of the freshly trimmed shrubbery. “Wrong on so many levels,” you say, not really meaning it, but I’d actually rather be chased by grenade-launching cannibal Terminators than be stuck forever listening to limp, overcooked songs with poorly written choruses serving as bases for trail-blazing lyrics covering loneliness and why it’s bad for people (“John Q. Public”) or, you know, how rich people are all, every single one, big phonies who don’t care, just like on Real Housewives of Atlanta (“Polite Society”). If you can only deal with music that makes you think of the last time hubby brought you roses on a whim, may I suggest Natalie Merchant, and now you may go about the rest of your day. Hopefully trying to get the thought of Terminators ruining your meatloaf out of your head. CEric W. Saeger