Doctors & Dealers

Confessions of a Drunken Mind

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Sparrow Lindgren, the woman who is all of Doctors & Dealers, is one of those credible performers in a chosen field who doesn't add much to what's happened before it but who maximizes her gifts to the full. In this case, it's winsome, recorded-at-home indie pop, and if she's coloring well within lines that reach as far back as Phil Spector and Maureen Tucker, she does so with an exuberant panache. Her sweet, lightly reverb-touched voice is a fine vehicle for her lyrics about love, loss, and life, and with the help of co-producer and occasional songwriter Peter Blom (who does a nice vocal turn on "Walk Away") she presents 14 short songs on Confessions of a Drunken Mind. If there's a golden period this album harkens back to in particular, it's the early to mid-'80s, with ghosts of everyone from early bedroom synth poppers to Young Marble Giants to the Marine Girls and more floating around the room (and possibly a little nod to Prefab Sprout via the subject and title of one song, "Steve McQueen." The keyboard-led arrangements work in some understated heft as they go, thus the low bass pulse on "Brown Horses," while light genre exercises like "The Other Woman," with its air of moody, spy movie love theme from the '60s, and the almost self-descriptive "Summertime Love" also work well. There's a gentle air of murk present as well, a warm, fuzzy-around-the-edges air not limited to Sparrow's singing that lends the whole album a lived-in feeling, like a well-worn sweater. Best out-of-nowhere touch, though, would have to be the cowbell on "My Mother Was a Dancer" -- which also has one of the best lyrics, with the narrator comparing herself to her sister: "While she's the new Twiggy, I'm the new Miss Piggy."

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