Birdie

Some Dusty

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AllMusic Review by

Comparisons between Birdie's Some Dusty and the music of Saint Etienne are inevitable: not only are both bands entrenched in their deep affection for the melodic grandeur and romantic melodrama of vintage girl-group pop, but Birdie's Debsey Wykes and Paul Kelly both used to serve as auxiliary members behind Sarah Cracknell and company -- not just a reference point, but a direct lineage. Wykes' roots run much deeper than that, however -- she previously served as a member of the wonderful if sadly unknown Dolly Mixture; moreover, Some Dusty is unrepentantly retro in ways the postmodern restlessness of Saint Etienne would never allow; boldly referencing the greatest of all British pop singers (Dusty Springfield) in its title and conjuring the sophisticated majesty of the greatest of all pop composers (Burt Bacharach, of course) in its warm, slinky grooves, the album evokes a simpler, better musical era with uncommon acuity. Any one of the disc's highlights (the first three tracks, "Laugh," "Dusty Morning," and "Let Her Go," respectively, are all particularly splendid) wouldn't sound at all out of place on a '60s girl-group retrospective -- compliments just don't come much higher than that.

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