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The parents' guide to what's in this music.
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What's the story?
Part torch singer, part social commentator, part queen of her own exotic universe, Nellie McKay is a true original. GET AWAY FROM ME is an ambitious double CD that defies categorizing and quickly gets under your skin. Sophisticated, torchy arrangements and two very familiar four-letter words make this CD most appropriate for older teens, but the Parental Advisory sticker seems unfair when compared to the hard-edged explicitness of most Parental Advisory albums. This really is one instance in which the words in question make some poetic sense in the context of the songs; they don't feel gratuitous at all.
Is it any good?
The songwriting is the real star on Get Away From Me, along with Ms. McKay's intimate cocktail-hour delivery. The double-CD is a bit too long and maybe a bit unfocused, but McKay (at age 19) clearly has a bright future ahead. Ironic, torchy, witty, and edgy in turn, her songs and performances reveal a deep and unique talent. Keep your eye on this one -- she's likely to be around for a while.