Miss Li

God Put a Rainbow in the Sky

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Miss Li's second album appeared a mere six months after her first, and it's cut from similar cloth, with ten more songs of the mongrel musical theater pop that's this impish Swedish songbird's version of cabaret jazz. The most notable differences this time out are a couple of unconvincing stabs at political/social commentary -- the snarky "I'm Glad I'm Not a Proud American" and "Kings and Queens" (sample lyric: "Rich men in pretty suits aren't meant to make up all the rules/when all they really care about is guns and bombs and bigger boobs") -- and a few halfway decent ballads, which could almost be affecting if Li had a bit more vocal restraint. Her charm, such as it is, stems from her campy amateurism, which is infectious enough to sell hammy numbers like "I'm Sorry, He's Mine," an ode to stealing a friend's man that one could imagine Lily Allen sinking her snide little teeth into, and bouncy trifles like "All I Need Is You." But frankly, unlike the similarly precocious (and prolific) Nellie McKay, with whom she shares more than a few influences, Li doesn't really seem to have the originality, songwriting talent, or charismatic spark to make you care when she tries to get a bit more serious.

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