Picks and Pans Review: Love Songs for Underdogs

updated 10/20/1997 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 10/20/1997 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Tanya Donelly

This Boston singer-songwriter sure has been around. Already a veteran of three bands—Throwing Muses, the Breeders and, most recently, Belly—Donelly has finally gotten around to releasing her solo debut. Perhaps some time alone is just what she needed. While Belly's last album was an unfocused, only vaguely melodic affair, these breezy tunes are tight and richly textured with unexpected shifts in mood and tempo. And Donelly has toughened up her vocal act to match her backup band's musical muscle. When she twists and turns through the lines "You penetrate/ You emulate/ Do you understand the deal?" on "Landspeed Song," she sounds unself-consciously flirty—worlds away from the subtlety-lacking likes of Fiona Apple and Jewel. Some underdog. (Reprise)

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