Bleeding Heart Graffiti
First Appeared in The Music Box, January 2007, Volume 14, #1
Written by John Metzger
Within the context of Veruca Salt, Nina Gordon added a much needed dose of pop-oriented sweetness to Louise Postís punk-metal abrasiveness. Since the duoís volatile breakup, Gordon, not surprisingly, has continued to pursue her mainstream aspirations, while Post, who retained the bandís name, has become even more bilious. On her latest effort Bleeding Heart Graffiti, Gordon brings forth the mature and sharply focused perspective that was missing from her early endeavors. Her songs, which are stuffed with shimmering, radio-friendly melodies, come together to form a conceptual work that traces the trajectory of a relationship from its beginning to its end. Despite her lofty ambitions, however, the album isnít nearly as captivating as it ought to be. Although there are moments when Gordon proves that she can still raise a ruckus ó the squall of guitars that haunts the otherwise optimistic Christmas Lights and the glittery, Mick Jagger-fronting-T-Rex groove of Suffragette, for example ó she far too frequently settles for delivering pretty but utterly forgettable piano ballads. At its worst, the trio of tracks that are tucked into the center of the set (Pure, Watercolors, and Superstar) comes across, with diminishing results, as a Juliana Hatfield-meets-Rilo Kiley rendition of The Carpenters. Gordon climbs out of the increasingly tedious refrains by transforming Warren Zevonís Accidentally Like a Martyr and The Beatlesí All You Need Is Love into the bittersweet Bones and a Name. In the end, Bleeding Heart Graffiti proves that while she might not have lost her knack for crafting incredibly infectious material, she seriously misses the edgy counterpunch that Post was able to provide.
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1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!
Copyright © 2007 The Music Box