Got a Girl

I Love You But I Must Drive Off This Cliff Now

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In a project spawned on the set of the the 2010 film adaptation of Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, San Francisco mega-producer Dan "The Automator" Nakamura (Gorillaz, Handsome Boy Modeling School, Deltron 3030) and winsome actress Mary Elizabeth Winstead deliver their playfully cinematic debut, I Love You But I Must Drive Off This Cliff Now, under the name Got a Girl. Another well-known, boy-girl indie pop duo of the late 2000s featuring a much-adored actress immediately springs to mind, but aside from melodic hooks, Got a Girl share little musical ground with the folky She & Him. They instead rely on a cocktail of '60s French pop, café jazz, psychedelia, and Bond-esque lounge, shaken (not stirred) and served in the chilled martini glass of Nakamura's classy soundscapes. For her part, Winstead's whispery, dulcet voice offers plenty to like, matching well with the type of retro luxury-pop style the duo has adopted. There has been no shortage of artists pairing classic lounge with modern samples and beats over the years, and throughout this debut you can pick out strains of similar-minded forebears like Pizzicato Five and early Goldfrapp. At times, the album, with its movie-themed packaging and big, dramatic orchestral samples, feels a bit like a theme exercise. Still, Got a Girl put their own stamp on this hybrid with finely crafted tracks like the low-key "Close to You" and the sweetly romantic "Last Stop." The uptempo "There's a Revolution" is also a hooky standout, and throughout the set, Nakamura's distinctive beats are in keeping with some of his classic work. Overall, this is a generally charming debut with a very stylized sound and some solid material within.

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