New York-based singer/songwriter Marianne Pillsbury cobbled together her first full-length album from a self-released EP from 2001 with a handful of more recent tracks. The resulting disc, The Wrong Marianne, is an occasionally enjoyable but largely unsatisfying essay in frank "chick rock." Using Liz Phair as an obvious template, Pillsbury devotes every thought in every song to a derivative sort of feminism: Guys are thoughtless and crass, but let's keep them around for the sex. The notion is a winning one in places, but Pillsbury's single-minded pursuit of it becomes tiresome and predictable; she even goes so far as to (unintentionally?) name-drop Phair's "Fuck and Run" on the cut "Sweater." Highlights include the promoted single "Boo Hoo," the moderately catchy "4-Year Coma," and the curious "Objects in the Mirror," whose wiggy scratch guitar guides the verses beyond the limitations of jangle pop. With a voice reminiscent of Juliana Hatfield's thin timbre, that jangle pop style suits Pillsbury nicely, but the obsession over one topic (as expressed in "Layaway Girlfriend," "Yeah, baby, I just wanna get laid") keeps The Wrong Marianne from being an exceptional display of Marianne Pillsbury's talents.
The Wrong Marianne Review
by Joseph McCombs