Listening to this third album by the London-born MacColl is a religious experience. It’s not that the songs are hymns. It’s just that her smooth, delicate voice is downright angelic, the perfect complement to the sweet, irresistible pop melodies that practically float off the disc. Just because the music is light and lovely, though, doesn’t mean her lyrics drift like clouds.
MacCoil’s songs unfold like short stories, full of less-than-wholesome characters who contradict the blissfully happy melodies. There are pretty tales of love, like “You Know It’s You,” but those come right alongside the good-girl-gone-nasty ode, “Bad,” and “Big Boy on a Saturday Night,” a bouncy tune in which MacColl tells an ex-lover, “I would have wiped the floor with you.” The mind of a sinner, the voice of a saint. What more do you need? (I.R.S.)