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Pink Nasty - Self Titled

Pink Nasty

Pink Nasty

(Self-released/available on iTunes)

I find that Sara Beck—a.k.a. Pink Nasty—makes the kind of records that demand getting played on repeat. One listen through and I’m ready to hear it all again. And then again.

It’s taken too far too long for her to follow up Mold the Gold, her magnificent 2006 collection of confectionary pop with a dark center, but her third album proves worth the wait. Originally to be titled You Make Me Mad, this self-titled release finds Beck having completely made the shift from her initial path of smirkingly fun and catchy folk/country to full-on power pop and taut rock. She takes her obsessions with Pavement, the Strokes, and Prince to their ultimate synthesis, turning those influences on their heads and then dosing them with her own unique songwriting and to-die-for voice. The result is an album of 12 songs that are hooky, ribald, and infectious at every turn.

Ms. Nasty’s skill with coy wordplay is balanced by a certain straight-forward conversational style and a simmering sensuality underneath that always threatens to boil over. Her brother Black (Ted Beck) Nasty—himself an underground sensation as a gangsta/XXX/comedy rapper—produced the album to a sheening perfection, with nervy guitars, dashes of keys in the right spots, tightly wound arrangements, and a rhythmically concise balance. (He also sings with her on the haunting, Prince-alluding ballad “Eye Would Pay U.”) There’s so much to dive into and love amongst Sara Beck’s set of emotionally fractured pop-perfect pathos. “Take You All On,” with an unforgettable descending guitar line, is a bubbly battle cry that calls into question life’s know-it-alls and the existence of luck. “Nag Nag Nag” has at its heart a longing, 1960s girl-group burn. “Sex Kinda Smells,” despite the title, is actually an offbeat and poignant ode to her grandfather.

donny kutzbach

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