I picked this one on a whim - I saw a brief review at Rolling Stone that described her as "The passionate, raspy-voiced punk Brody Dalle", and that was all I really needed. Though they've led me astray a few times (Jason Mraz, for example), my gut instincts led me to a gem this time. Brody Dalle's music is catchy, energetic, and kick-ass. It has attitude and bass. It's edgy but not off-putting.
I don't particularly like comparing artists, as it diminishes the creativity of the subject and boxes the object, but I'll go ahead and say that Brody Dalle snarls like Joan Jett but crafts like Pat Benatar, then cranks it all up to 11. If you want some free samples, go to her website and click on some of the videos at the bottom, but if you like well-made rock, just go ahead and buy the album.
It's really hard for me to pick a favorite on this album, or to single out one as better left on the cutting room floor. All the songs fit well in the mix, and they're solid on their own. The album starts off with swagger:
I'm gonna cut the chord to the man who holds me down under himI'm gonna cut the chord to the man, set me free, rule my world again.
I'm gonna burn this city down‘Cause this city ran me aroundI'm gonna burn this town to the groundYou might want to grab some marshmallows, cause there's gonna be a conflagration when she unleashes the guitars.
The wall-of-sound guitar work dominates all the songs save "I Don't Need Your Love", a drum and string gem broken up with laughing baby sounds that a parent will recognize as bath time. It's a high-pitched, soft anomaly that voices her independence from the father of her child. She's over the hurt and the child that resulted gives her strength:
That empty space you left has grown rosesAnother notable song is the inspirational "Dressed in Dreams", packed full of ringing guitars and percussion, coupled with determined lyrics:
Out of shit and one thing's for sure
I don't need your love
Never let yourself give in
When you're trying to start again
Put on your dreams and let's go
I won't give up at all
I want the freedom to dream the impossible
I will make it real