Riki Michele - Big Big Town

Tuesday 1st May 1990
Riki Michele - Big Big Town
Riki Michele - Big Big Town

RATING 6 6 6 6 6 6
LABEL: Broken BRCK0508

Reviewed by Phil Thomson

Hands up if you've heard of Judy Tzuke. Maybe not.  Just believe me, it's a compliment to Riki Michele. This is an eclectic release which nevertheless holds together surprisingly well. You need to wrestle with teasing, fleeting, compound images and an occasional change of style - yet there are many rewards for the effort. Nothing is self-penned, and that, more that anything, accounts for the ephemeral nature of the album as a whole. It also says much for producer Gene Eugene (the chap who leads toted Christian band Adam Again) that it all fits together.  You'll discover moments of charm and beauty (eg "Bride's Song 1984") woven into elusive jazz orientations; you'll be caught up in quite magical, quasi-country rock transformation to acoustic ballad blues ("Secrets"), and just as you are convinced you know what she's doing, Riki's off at a tangent and almost into rock.  It seems fresher with every play.  I say fresh, because it's packed full of great ideas, so economically produced you're sure you must have missed something.  If the merest hint of sentimentality mars an otherwise flawless album, that's probably nothing more than the difference between the American and the UK palate. Definitely to taste.

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