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Mockingbird by Kendra Morris
Released: Jul 2013
Label: WAX POETICS,INC. (WXP)
As the self-deprecating title hints, this follow-up to 2012's memorable Banshee is a covers album. Morris takes some creative risks: She merges Dionne Warwick and Isaac Hayes' versions of "Walk on By," strips the disco out of The Rolling Stones' "Miss You," and delivers a droll Nick Cave-like take on The Proclaimers' "500 Miles." But she's also smart enough to leave a good tune alone. She sings Radiohead's "Karma Police" and Chris Isaak's "Wicked Game" straight up, with nothing but her fantastic voice and Jeremy Page's impressively brittle retro-soul production to adorn them.
Mosi Reeves