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Paula Kelley | The Trouble With Success or How You Fit into the World | review | alternative | rock | Lollipop

Paula Kelley

The Trouble With Success or How You Fit into the World (Kimchee)
by Jamie Kiffel

With Burt Bacharach schmaltz arrangements, hearts and flowers lyrics ("Your love is like an anchor for me/your love is like a warm August breeze" on "A New Time"), and Juliana Hatfield baby-girl voice, Paula Kelley is an alt-pop siren calling out to all shaggy-haired college boys with plastic-framed glasses and big sneakers. She plays harpsichord, flute, guitar, and organ: Just enough instruments to lend a healthy dose of nerd appeal to the girl pictured with the vintage-style red coat and flipped and dyed brown hair. There's something satisfyingly Beck-ironic about the brass and strings arrangements and the bachelor pad Brillcreme association that comes with them. My own personal shaggy-haired boy tells me that this disc has The Cardigans all over it. Personally, I hear Urban Outfitters devotees trolling thrift shops for that elusive Herb Alpert b-side. It's hip like vintage aprons and scuffed spectator shoes, and will cause smiles among a crowd over-educated enough to spurn keg parties for martini mixers.

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