Nina Gordon departed Veruca Salt, the band she co-led with former best friend Louise Post, in a swirl of anger, allegations, cheats, and general nastiness. Post retaliated by retaining the band's name and releasing the vitriolic, bile-ridden Resolver. Gordon acted like the furor never happened. Actually, the break was even more extreme than that. With an exception or two, she acted like Veruca Salt never happened, hiring Bob Rock -- who helmed the group's last Gordon-Post effort, Eight Arms to Hold You -- as the producer for Tonight and the Rest of My Life, an album that refashions Nina Gordon as an adult alternative pop/rock singer/songwriter, just a little like a fusion of Aimee Mann and Juliana Hatfield. As it turns out, the makeover works very well. Since Gordon always had the melodic instincts and girlish voice, she was better suited for such an overhaul, but what is a surprise is that the subdued yet glossy production, big hooks, and mature attitude add up to a charming little album. That's not to say that it's perfect, there are awkward lyrical turns of phrase (such as the whole of "Horses in the City"), but that's not unusual for Gordon. But it does work, and it's a real grower, sounding better with each spin; and there are enough hooks and production flourishes to have it return to the turntable. Some might say that producer Rock or sideman (and Aimee Mann collaborator) Jon Brion have a large part to do with the record's success because they helped make it sound seamless and professional. That's unfair to Gordon. She not only demonstrates a true flair for well-crafted mature pop -- from Beatlesque choruses to country-rock tinges -- throughout the record, but she proves that she's a pretty compelling performer in her own right. Not just that, it's a stronger and more consistent platter than either of Veruca Salt's appealing but uneven records, to boot. In all, it's a far better record than any objective Veruca Salt fan could have hoped for.
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AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine