Nobunny

Raw Romance

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    6
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Can a guy seem sweet and pervy at the same time? Nobunny certainly gives that a try on Raw Romance, an album that opens with an audio clip from the movie Buffalo 66 before it segues into "Your Mouth," a song that implies a great deal without explicitly saying nearly as much as he rhapsodizes about the mouth of his beloved. That seems to be the underlying theme of Raw Romance; here Nobunny serves up a handful of his simple, slightly ragged pop songs, many featuring little more than his voice and acoustic guitar, in which he sings with simple glee and a childlike enthusiasm about many things that have a clear sexual undercurrent. Then there's "Mask's On," where he leaves subtlety by the wayside for a moment as he talking about leaving "Pawprints on your face/Pawprints on your ass" as he and his partner blindfold one another (for the record, he does add, "Please don't get me wrong, I don't wish to hurt you" moments later). Nobunny often enjoys walking a fine line between what's fun and what's a bit creepy, and on Raw Romance, he treads it like a tightrope walker, alternating playful innuendo with moments where he hints at less then wholesome sexual appetites -- how little is that little girl in "Apple Tree"? And why is he quoting the "It puts the lotion on its skin or else it gets the hose again" line from Silence of the Lambs in "I Am a Girlfriend"? (The same song also includes a sample from the Martin Scorsese film After Hours; if nothing else, Raw Romance gives us an unprecedented look into Nobunny's movie collection.) Nobunny's way with a lo-fi hook and a poppy/punky melody line doesn't fail him, and the cover of "Tonight You Belong to Me" is genuinely charming, but Nobunny tells us a little bit more than we need to know on Raw Romance, which makes it less than funny and somewhere in the neighborhood of uncomfortable; it's an album that works a lot better if you don't pay attention to what anyone is saying.

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