Rebecca Pidgeon

Behind the Velvet Curtain

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In contrast to all the urban contemporary, hip-hop, dance-pop, and electronica artists who have operated in the high-tech realm exclusively, adult alternative is a place where artists have been known to be totally acoustic one day and totally electronic the next. Some adult alternative recordings are quite organic sounding, and others are heavily or entirely programmed. Singer/songwriter and actress Rebecca Pidgeon favors the organic option on Behind the Velvet Curtain, which was produced by Larry Klein in Los Angeles and includes four songs that were used in the movie Redbelt. Klein was obviously careful not to overproduce on this 2008 release; high-tech programming is rejected (except for a hidden track at the end), and Pidgeon's voice is surrounded by a combination of acoustic and electric instruments (mainly guitar, bass, and drums). Production-wise, less is clearly more throughout Behind the Velvet Curtain; Pidgeon favors a delicate, waifish vocal style, and Klein's stripped down production serves her well on gently reflective originals such as "That's Life, That's Hollywood," "Down," and "Long Island Poem." The only song on this frequently melancholy CD that Pidgeon didn't write or co-write is the Beach Boys' "Wouldn't It Be Nice," which has no problem lending itself to an adult alternative/folk-pop makeover. Some people have described Behind the Velvet Curtain as vocal jazz, which is misleading; this is an album of adult alternative and folk-pop, not vocal jazz. But jazz is an influence at times (as is country), and Pidgeon incorporates bossa nova on "Been and Gone," "Manha" and "When You Were Mine" (which finds Brazilian guest Luciana Souza contributing some vocals in Portuguese). Behind the Velvet Curtain falls short of exceptional, but it's still a pleasant, agreeable listen -- and Klein's presence is a definite plus.

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