Album Review: Nicole Atkins, ‘Slow Phaser’

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Nicole Atkins is one of the most criminally under-appreciated artists in music today. She possesses one of the most resplendent voices in music today. Her live performance and persona is intoxicating — she’s charming, captivating and commanding. At times, vocally, she reminds one of a female Roy Orbison; on stage, at times, she reminds one of a young Stevie Nicks. Critics and musicians alike heap praise upon her constantly and that same group holds their breath in the anticipation when Atkins finally breaks through to become the star that she certainly seems destined (and deserves) to become.

Her latest record, Slow Phaser which is released in February, might be the record that helps her steamroll her way into the collective conscious of mainstream music lovers.

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New Jersey’s songstress laureate has created what could be her most “modern” work to date –painting a sonic landscape perfect for today’s indie/alt scene. It’s hard to put a literary finger on “how” it’s just right for the current state of those genres, but once you hear the record, the eureka moment will hit you.

Yet, Slow Phaser isn’t just some attempt by an artist to make a modern-sounding record that’ll get them into the hearts of the masses. No, Atkins embellishes her work with hints of country, ethereal psychedelia and even a little taste of disco — making it a highly unique piece of music. It’s wonderfully odd, but it just makes all the sense in the world when you listen to record all the way through.

The opening track “Who Killed the Moonlight” is the anthem for this record — it embraces all the new sounds Atkins and producer Tore Johannson have while blending it with Atkin’s beautiful, soaring vocals. Hands down, the “must-add” song off the record for any playlist.

“Girl You Look Amazing” the lead single off the record is also a really strong track. It’s a wild disco, but not really disco, sound. It’s got this laid-back infectiousness that slowly burrows itself into your mental jukebox and will become the soundtrack to your entire day.

Slow Phaser is a sultry and engrossing record that could possibly be Nicole Atkins’ best overall work to date. Longtime fans will always cling to her major label release, Neptune City, as the ultimate Atkins album, but Slow Phaser could very well be the game changer for Atkins. If there were a time for this eclectic record to come out, it’s right now. And for those who haven’t embraced the wondrousness that is Nicole Atkins, this is the record to do so.

To pre-order Slow Phaser, click here.

Related Articles

Singles Party: Nicole Atkins, ‘Girl You Look Amazing’ (Staff)

Interview: Nicole Atkins – 2012 (Brent Johnson)

Pop-Break Live: Nicole Atkins at The Stone Pony (Bill Bodkin, Patrick Brady)

Bill Bodkin is the gray bearded owner, editor-in-chief and co-founder of Pop Break. Most importantly, he is lucky husband, and proud father to a beautiful daughter named Sophie. He can be seen regularly on the site reviewing The Walking Dead, Doctor Who, and is the host of the site’s podcast, The BreakCast. He is a graduate of Rutgers University with a degree in Journalism & English. Follow him on Twitter: @BodkinWrites

1 COMMENT

  1. I love her – and this track is beyond infectious! Thank you for shining some much deserved spotlights her way!

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