Pretty Ballerina

Peter Kingsbery

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Pretty Ballerina Review

by Kelvin Hayes

Remaining true to his idiom, Kingsbery drops keyboard and organ for acoustic and electric guitar on Pretty Ballerina. Three former tracks are revamped, though why he bothered with "Better You Know" -- which was one of the few successful tracks on his previous album, Once in a Million -- is a mystery. Good, though, is the much grittier "Brand New Year" (also originally on Once in a Million). "Pretty Ballerina" is his most "difficult" and "alternative" work yet, and on "My Miracle," piano and studio technology merge with Kingsbery's trademark wails and cries. "Damage Done" is pretty -- like an autumnal walk in the park -- while "Sandrine" sounds like one of those songs you hear in a movie, where lovers drive their convertible along a coastal road, wind in their hair, waves crashing on the rocks below. Kingsbery makes another sharp turn with the rocky growler "Sleeping With the Enemy" and the Gallic "Bishop Gaillot." Next up is a beautiful remake of "More Than Willing" on which Kingsbery is reunited with fellow Cock Robin alumnus Anna LaCazio, after seven years apart. This time around, the song sounds more like a summer grunge anthem than Chic, but no less lovely for it; it contains a great slide guitar solo, too. Things return to the land of lyrical obscurities with "Galaxy," which features the unforgettable line, "Your train is underground/ Your pigeon is found." Pretty Ballerina proves that Kingsbery still has a lot to offer. Let's just hope the record company thinks so.

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