Picks and Pans Review: Get Away from Me

updated 03/08/2004 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 03/08/2004 AT 01:00 AM EST

Nellie McKay

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There are so many styles paraded on the two-disc debut from this 19-year-old singer-songwriter-pianist that you maybe left saying, "Whoa, Nellie!" From '50s pop to hip-hop, from cabaret jazz to synth-driven dance, from Latin to Asian accents, McKay pours it all into her musical melting pot. While the results are sometimes jarring, they are almost always invigorating. McKay's lyrical bent is equally bracing: "Yeah I'll have my coffee black/ Hey look we're bombing Iraq," she sings in her pure, warm tone on the whimsical "Toto Dies," which takes its "Oh we oh" refrain from The Wizard of Oz. Meanwhile, on the Doris Day-esque "I Wanna Get Married," she wryly croons, "I wanna pack cute little lunches/For my Brady bunches/Then read Danielle Steel."

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