Thursday, February 22, 2024 
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Editor's note: We have activated the Neumu 44.1 kHz Archive. Use the link at the bottom of this list to access hundreds of Neumu reviews.

+ Donato Wharton - Body Isolations
+ Svalastog - Woodwork
+ Tim Hecker - Harmony In Ultraviolet
+ Rosy Parlane - Jessamine
+ Jarvis Cocker - The Jarvis Cocker Record
+ Múm - Peel Session
+ Deloris - Ten Lives
+ Minimum Chips - Lady Grey
+ Badly Drawn Boy - Born In The U.K.
+ The Hold Steady - Boys And Girls Together
+ The Blood Brothers - Young Machetes
+ The Places - Songs For Creeps
+ Camille - Le Fil
+ Wolf Eyes - Human Animal
+ Christina Carter - Electrice
+ The Decemberists - The Crane Wife
+ Junior Boys - So This Is Goodbye
+ Various Artists - Musics In The Margin
+ Rafael Toral - Space
+ Bob Dylan - Modern Times
+ Excepter - Alternation
+ Chris Thile - How To Grow A Woman From The Ground
+ Brad Mehldau - Live in Japan
+ M Ward - Post-War
+ Various Artists - Touch 25
+ The Mountain Goats - Get Lonely
+ The White Birch - Come Up For Air
+ Camera Obscura - Let's Get Out of This Country
+ Coachwhips - Double Death
+ Various Artists - Tibetan And Bhutanese Instrumental And Folk Music, Volume 2
+ Giuseppe Ielasi - Giuseppe Ielasi
+ Cex - Actual Fucking
+ Sufjan Stevens - The Avalanche
+ Leafcutter John - The Forest And The Sea
+ Carla Bozulich - Evangelista
+ Barbara Morgenstern - The Grass Is Always Greener
+ Robin Guthrie - Continental
+ Peaches - Impeach My Bush
+ Oakley Hall - Second Guessing
+ Klee - Honeysuckle
+ The Court & Spark - Hearts
+ TV On The Radio - Return To Cookie Mountain
+ Awesome Color - Awesome Color
+ Jenny Wilson - Love And Youth
+ Asobi Seksu - Citrus
+ Marsen Jules - Les Fleurs
+ The Moore Brothers - Murdered By The Moore Brothers
+ Regina Spektor - Begin To Hope
+ The 1900s - Plume Delivery EP
+ Alejandro Escovedo - The Boxing Mirror
+ Function - The Secret Miracle Fountain
+ Sonic Youth - Rather Ripped
+ Loscil - Plume
+ Boris - Pink
+ Deadboy And The Elephantmen - We Are Night Sky
+ Glissandro 70 - Glissandro 70
+ Calexico - Garden Ruin (Review #2)
+ Calexico - Garden Ruin (Review #1)
+ The Flaming Lips - At War With The Mystics
+ The Glass Family - Sleep Inside This Wheel
+ Various Artists - Songs For Sixty Five Roses
+ The Fiery Furnaces - Bitter Tea
+ Motorpsycho - Black Hole/Blank Canvas
+ The Red Krayola - Introduction
+ Metal Hearts - Socialize
+ American Princes - Less And Less
+ Sondre Lerche And The Faces Down Quartet - Duper Sessions
+ Supersilent - 7
+ Band Of Horses - Everything All The Time
+ Dudley Perkins - Expressions
+ Growing - Color Wheel
+ Red Carpet - The Noise Of Red Carpet
+ The Essex Green - Cannibal Sea
+ Espers - II
+ Wilderness - Vessel States

44.1 kHz Archive

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Princess Superstar
Princess Superstar Is

She calls herself Miss Rappin Jon Benet, but she's more like the rappin' Dennis Miller. Her rhymes include arcane references to things (or people) like Steve Case, Dali and Tupperware. She calls herself the Black Shirley Temple, but she doesn't wear tap shoes, and instead of singing about the Good Ship Lollipop, she sings "oochie wally wally leave it to my beaver." She's Princess Superstar, also known as Concetta Kirschner.

I first discovered Her Highness in 1995, after she released Strictly Platinum. I played the CD endlessly. I liked the music, which had a rough, choppy, blues-mixed-with-rock sound, like Jon Spencer Blues Explosion. But I always went back for the hilarious surprises she created in her lyrics, juxtaposing her saucy Lower East Side persona with references to her white, Jewish, suburban upbringing.

Earlier this year she released her fourth CD, Princess Superstar Is. The disc, which she wrote and produced, mixes rock and rap, like her earlier releases. But the sound is more polished; the cut-and-paste feel has been replaced by seamless sampling and smooth soul. And her delivery has improved; she sounds like a different person than she did when I last listened. She actually raps now, fast and furious.

On her new disc, the Princess takes part in hip-hop's macho bravura, bragging about her designer duds and graphically describing sexual conquests, but she contrasts it with a recorded telephone message from her mother, who says "Oh my God, honey, that's great! Kool Keith. ... What did you say he sang?" And an embarrassing description of her digestive woes: "Fart in my hot pants in a crowded theater at Sundance (must have been the hot ranch)." But you can't get turned off; she looks like Gwen Stefani's grown-up, sexier sister.

On the CD's second track, "Bad Babysitter," she's a 15-year-old babysitter, trying to get her little charge off to bed so she and her boyfriend can have sex — after she masturbates and eats all the family's food. Against what sounds like a looped sample from a game-show theme, she brags, "I'm a bad babysitter, got my boyfriend in your shower/ Woo! I'm makin' six bucks an hour."

Like many hip-hop CDs, Princess Superstar has an impressive lineup of guests. High and Mighty is her bad babysitter's employer. And on the next track, she and Kool Keith engage in rhyming foreplay. But she's not all tough and tawdry. She and Beth Orton, the English folk singer who always shows up on DJ tracks, team up on the moody and introspective "Untouchable Part 2." It's an odd mix, her pouty rap about a bruised ego followed by Orton's slow and somber chorus. But after a few listens it blends together; Orton's voice, it seems, can go anywhere.

On "Welcome to My World," which sounds like it has bits of the "Sesame Street" theme running through it, and "Who Writes Your Lyrics," the Princess outlines her professional and personal life history, taking swipes at those who've compared her to Eminem and Li'l Kim. She's neither. In her own words, she's a cunning linguist who happens to have nicer tits than all The Bangles. And her CD is good. She deserves all the lavish praise she gives herself.

by Lori Miller Barrett

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