Dory Previn

Mythical Kings and Iguanas

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A year on from the debut, Previn's cupboard was still bursting with demons. This time out, though, she put her childhood anxieties on hold and dealt with more immediate concerns -- the quest for spiritual fulfillment and the simple need to find a healthy, loving relationship -- in a series of mostly dark, experimental folk ballads. The record bore a more muted sound than its predecessor, but lyrically it was as incisive as ever. With beguiling candor, Previn neatly pinned down the inevitable inequalities of an affair with a younger man ("Whatever you give me/I'll take as it comes/Discarding self-pity/I'll manage with crumbs") on "Lemon Haired Ladies." "Angels and Devils the Following Day" remains a great modern-day fable about psychological abuse versus physical abuse -- wisely concluding that a few punches are nothing compared to chronic mental torture. Mythical Kings and Iguanas also contained "Lady with the Braid," the closest Previn came to an adult radio hit.

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