In an age when every style from hip-hop to goth metal has been strained through the pop filter, it seems like any given artist could be successfully watered down to make a TRL-friendly version. Dirtie Blonde's self-titled debut, however, proves this conclusion wrong. When most gritty genres are diluted for mass consumption they end up sort of like a Playboy model strategically smeared with dirt, but when the bluesy voice of singer/songwriter Amie Miriello is worked over with writing/production collaborators Robin Lynch and Niklas Olovson -- known for their work with Pink -- the effect is more like a cowgirl awkwardly shoved into a prom dress with her boots still on. Still, the album is by no means an all-out failure; a number of tracks have insanely catchy and danceable hooks, like "Walk Over Me," "Shut Up," and "Outta My Bed." These are songs on which Miriello's well-developed voice shines through, showcasing her raspy machine-gun vibrato (more reminiscent of Feist than of Gwen Stefani) and soulful authenticity. Her highest point in this regard is on the wry ballad "My Pride," a sweet and tragic torch song that receives remarkably detailed instrumentation from its teen pop producers, who accent the track with subtle touches of Rhodes. Unfortunately, even this song falls victim to some of the excess gloss that overwhelms the rest of the album. On most tunes, Miriello's voice is unnecessarily tracked several times over itself -- a treatment that helps vocally weak singers like Jennifer Lopez but only detracts in this case. Generally speaking, the disc is full of simple pop songs that strongly illustrate the mass market style of its creative team and the mere 12 days it was recorded in. Miriello seems to have been too far out of her element and, as a result, co-wrote and performed a lot of forgettable material. Even still, the release demonstrates the talents of those behind it (even if those talents were mismatched) and will charm its way into the hands of many on the quality of its few remarkably fetching cuts.
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AllMusic Review by Cammila Collar