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Bree Sharp's More B.S.
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More B.S., the latest release from Philly-born songwriter Bree Sharp, reveals plenty of the acerbic social commentary that propelled her quirky breakout hit, “David Duchovny.” Sharp, whose distinct warble occasionally sounds like a funkier, smarter (and less drugged out) Belinda Carlisle fronting Ani DiFranco’s band, offers nothing as immediately radio-ready as “Duchovny” on this turn, but what she does have is much better than novelty: a collection of songs that invite and reward reflection.
Sharp’s tilt-of-the-head is certainly twisted. In “Dirty Magazine” she gleefully—and unapologetically—constructs a narrative about a 13-year old runaway who dreams of being pimped out in porn. “Lazy Afternoon,” her deconstruction of commercial culture, is as deliciously self-effacing as it is pointed and uncompromising.
But More B.S. is most compelling when it turns introspective. “The Ballad of Grim and Lily” (written with David Baerwald and David Ricketts), a take on the outlaw-couple on the lam genre, is inarguably tender, as is the nostalgia-tinged regret of “Sunday School and Cigarettes (Slipping Away).” Even the druggy “Galaxy Song” finds a way offer a kind encouragement in its affirmation that we are “not alone in the galaxy.” And while her remake of Don Henley’s “The Boys of Summer” is a musical miscue, the notion of someone so young pining “Don’t look back, Honey, never look back” is evocative and even heartbreaking, suggestive of a thoughtfulness rarely associated with coffeehouse-folk-punk ironicism.
(originally published in PASTE Magazine; www.pastemagazine.com)