Rob McColley

Juicy

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The title of the first release from Champaign, IL's Rob McColley, depending on which side of the CD is being viewed, can be surmised to be "Juicy," "From the Devotions," or "A Boy Named Laurie." It's that kind of willful schizophrenia that is central to McColley's musical vision: throughout the album he celebrates the sheer fluidity of identity. Is he Rob? Is he Laurie? Paradoxically, the recurring identity confusion is what makes this such a focused pop record. McColley draws from a broad musical palate: he opens with the would-be spy music theme "Green for Danger," utterly mimics Grant Lee Buffalo on "Roma," and dips into '60s kitsch exotica for the breezy sex romp "Turning Curious?" and the jaunty instrumental "Hide." It may not be smooth going, but Juicy is truly an intriguing joyride: "Life's too short for all things mediocre," he sings on "I Wish I Could Be a Smoker," and indeed, he dares to fail as spectacularly as he dares to succeed on this worthwhile debut.

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