Barbara Manning

B4 We Go Under/I Love You 1,000 Ways

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AllMusic Review by Jason Ankeny

The only thing better than a New Zealand pop song is Barbara Manning covering a New Zealand pop song. Written in Manning's honor by Kiwi pop legend Robert Scott of Clean and Bats fame, "B4 We Go Under" is as flawless as one might expect from a collaboration of this caliber. Manning transforms Scott's slashing jangle pop sound into something her own. Her laconic California twang is perfectly suited to the song's dreamy lyrics, while backing band Flophouse drives the melody with surging drums and taut guitars that inevitably go haywire as the song speeds to its close. For the flip side, Manning shifts gears to tackle Lefty Frizzell's "I Love You 1000 Ways," and proves herself equally adept at barstool blues. A typically lavish but particularly beautiful TeenBeat sleeve rounds out the package.