After paying tribute to actresses of the '30s, '40s, and '50s on her debut album, Sirens...Songs of the Silver Screen, Quinn Lemley turns her attention to '50s cocktail lounge culture on her second album, Cocktails with a Twist. The term "lounge music" might have a negative connotation to some, but Lemley steers clear of schlock and shows a genuine fondness for the classic pop and jazz of that era. If Lemley's goal was to transport us back to a time when one sipped dry martinis in a cocktail lounge while Julie London, Frank Sinatra, or Jo Stafford played on the jukebox, the singer does so nicely on her appealing versions of "An Occasional Man," "Besame Mucho," and "Love Me or Leave Me." The CD's more humorous moments come on Afro-Cuban-influenced numbers like "C'est Si Bon" and "Quando Bailar," but on the whole, Cocktails with a Twist isn't as humorous or as theatrical as Sirens or Lemley's third album, Dance or Die. That's not to say that it's a somber album, though -- even on "You Don't Know What Love Is," Lemley sounds like someone who's enjoying herself. Cocktails with a Twist is easily recommended to fans of jazz-influenced '50s pop.
AllMusic Review by Alex Henderson