Forgotten Series: Nellie McKay - Get Away from Me (2004)

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Nellie McKay
By Tom Johnson

This spunky singer, 19 years old at the time, was a lot smarter and had a much more mature ear than her age indicated.

Incorporating everything from saccharine Bacharachian melodies to husky jazz to edgy hip-hop, it might have seemed that Get Away From Me was all over the map sonically. But Nellie McKay's smooth, seasoned vocals and wry, subtle sense of humor bonded it all together.

She was having a lark on all the overly serious, melodramatic pop-divas (and even earnest songstress Norah Jones—check out that title again), and, as I mentioned to the record store clerk at the time, from the number of used copies in the racks, few were picking up on her humor.

How she convinced Columbia to release one hour of music on two discs is beyond me—and it was probably an extra cost that the label grew to regret, regardless of how effective it was splitting with the album into two halves.

Nevertheless, check it out: Get Away From Me is, without a doubt, both joyously fun and intriguing. But be careful—the label, in their infinite wisdom, also released a “clean" version. Cute and sweet as she looks, Nellie's got a bit of a mouth on her, but it's a smart one.

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This story appears courtesy of Something Else!.
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