Louie Austen

Easy Love

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One of the more bizarre Kitty Yo acts, time-traveling 56-year-old crooner Louie Austen beams back into Patrick Pulsinger's studio for Easy Love, a third album of music to watch girls by. Much like how this Vegas barfly no doubt takes his bourbon, there are no half measures here, with the combination of sickly sweet vocal delivery and cheeky electronics certain to incite either a love or hate reaction in the listener. Broadly speaking, it is when Pulsinger and Mario Neugebauer make an effort that Austen truly has a chance to soar. The stuttering percussion and swirling arrangements that envelope "Danger," the tongue-in-cheek bossa melancholy of "Drowning," and even "Pain"'s strung-out shuffle -- all find the equilibrium between Rat Pack charm and dance-music savvy. Conversely, the album only falters when it works more straightforward dancefloor tracks, which, though they may be well-suited as singles, stand out as sore thumbs of insincerity on an otherwise fine album of sounds for the postmodern lounge lizard.

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