Picks and Pans Review: This Town Is Wrong

updated 01/26/2004 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 01/26/2004 AT 01:00 AM EST

FOLK-POP

Nerissa and Katryna Nields

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Plaintive, self-justifying and full of enigmatic lyrics, the follow-up to this duo's 2002 debut Love and China sounds like a 1960s folk-pop album gone wrong. Katryna Nields, in fact, evokes Sylvia Tyson of the admirable '60s Canadian folk duo Ian and Sylvia. Meanwhile, Katryna's older sister Nerissa could easily be mistaken for Woodstock performer Melanie. Together, the Nieldses bring to mind a more pedantic variation on another sister act, Kate and Anna McGarrigle. It doesn't help that Nerissa's lyrics (she wrote all 12 songs) tend to the singsongy: "I saw you talk behind my back/ I'm ready for your next attack," on "Clairman Town." The best track on this otherwise soulless enterprise is the bluesy "When I'm Here," bolstered by the affecting Dobro of Dave Chalfant, a member of Nerissa and Katryna's former group, the Nields.

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