Missy Higgins – The Ol’ Razzle Dazzle

January 01, 1970





Positioning herself
midway between a kind of dance diva and a legitimate pop princess, Australia’s
Missy Higgins somehow manages to appeal to fans of both genres without losing
her cred in either. While songs like “Hello Hello,” “Unashamed Desire” and
“Temporary Love” would certainly find favor with disco denizens, Higgins
doesn’t pander to her listeners in the way that Cher or Madonna might. The fact
is, it’s her artistry and integrity that drive these grooves and still allow
the serious listener to peer deeper below the surface.


Likewise, while most
of these songs reflect a singer who’s both sultry and vivacious, there’s never
any doubt she’s also sharing some genuine emotion. The salty “Watering Hole”
has her aiming for an Annie Lennox-like plateau, while the ballads that come
towards the end of the set — the tellingly-titled trio “If I’m Honest,”
“Cooling of the Embers” and “Sweet Arms of a Tune” — reflect an artist who’s
unafraid of revealing something of herself even amidst the revelry. Yes, The Ol’ Razzle Dazzle mostly appears to live up to its name,
but it also shows there’s plenty of heart here to hang onto.


DOWNLOAD: “If I’m Honest,” “Watering Hole” LEE ZIMMERMAN


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