Anya Marina: Slow & Steady Seduction: Phase II

Can music be cute? And if so, can it be a good thing? If Anya Marina is any indication, the answer to both questions is yes. Though not blessed with much vocal range, Marina’s voice has a soft, seductive quality. On her sophomore release, Marina eschews her previous coffeehouse sound and, thanks to some beats contributed by Britt Daniel (Spoon), offers a more eclectic and upbeat set.

The opening track, “Move You,” starts with simple acoustic fingerpicking, Marina’s vocals a sexy whisper, before shifting gears into a danceable stomp. Marina’s vocals range from child-like in “Lullaby for a Realist” to the jazz-influenced allure of “All the Same to Me.” Marina recalls her singer-songwriter roots in “Waters of March” yet can still pull off the raw indie rock of “Afterparty at Jimmy’s.”

Daniel’s influence is apparent throughout. “Drop Dead Blues” in particular would fit nicely on Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga. Though her sound may be taking a new direction, Marina’s trademark wit is intact. “Sometimes a harbinger of hope lasts all day” she whispers in the satirical “Lullaby for a Realist.” With twelve outstanding tracks and Marina’s playful personality, this disc’s steady seduction is anything but slow. It starts from the opening measures

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