Felicia Michaels

Lewd Awakenings

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Felicia Michaels' debut album Lewd Awakenings stakes out the seldom-explored world of X-rated female comedy, full of foul language and explicit routines about sexual relationships and bodily functions. Michaels' delivery is strikingly casual, and her girlish voice -- soft, thin, and with a gentle Southern twang -- provides an amusing contrast with the material. Michaels projects the same ambivalent self-consciousness about sex and the body as many male comedians working in similarly blue territory. However, her tone is much less aggressive, adopting the sort of bemused everywoman persona usually associated with observational humor. It's too bad that Michaels' observations on Lewd Awakenings don't always deliver satisfying payoffs, which can often make the album sound surprisingly gentle in spite of its language and subject matter. There are some laugh-out-loud moments scattered over the course of the album, but overall, it might actually have benefited from a little more edginess, whether in the sharpness of Michaels' wit or the exploitation of the gulf between her persona and material.

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