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  Is It Safe?  
  Dina D'Alessandro  
  Worker Ants Music  
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Dina D'Alessandro is a Los Angeles-based singer songwriter who i actually met, briefly, at a Cocteau Twins fan event in that city. She handed out some sampler CDs, and eventually this album came to EvilSponge via a promotional company out West. Brendan naturally handed it off to me, as the only Minion remotely familiar with the artist.

This is mainstream pop music. The sound is big, in that the production is clear and each instrument reverberates cleanly. D'Alesandro's voice is light and girly, reminding me very vaguely of Tonya Donelly's work with Belly. So this is light, sunny music. And yet, there is a hint of darkness buried within, as if the only way Ms. D'Alesandro can smile so much is if she writes tunes that take all of the misery in her life and lays it out. It's cathartic music for her, i guess. Either that or the woman needs Prozac... Wihichever; it creates an interesting dichotomy: sunny music with gothish lyrics.

For example, the first song is a tune called Masquerade that is about, well, how she has to hide who she is to make money. I am guessing here that she means at her day job, not while she is creating music. At least, that makes the most sense, although maybe she does mean that this music is not really what she wants to do -- which would be very weird. Nonetheless, this is a nice song with wah-wah-ing guitars and a bouncy rhythm, while she sings about "lying every day". Odd, yet catchy.

And then there is Wait For Me, where she sings about being dumped (again), in a light happy way over guitars that chime and grind along. I love her guitarwork here, but again the lyrics are not exactly happy. She also offers some great guitarwork on Hard to Believe, which grinds away over thudding drums and really belted out vocals in a way that reminds me of The Gin Blossoms.

Overall, the music is bouncy with surprisingly good guitarwork (played by Ms. D'Alesandro herself) and her voice. She sings kind of breathily, yet clearly. The music is sunshiny and poppy, if you don't pay close attention to the lyrics. I don't think it breaks any new ground, but as far as guitar rock albums go this isn't bad.

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