Consumer Guide Album
Nellie McKay: My Weekly Reader [429, 2015]
Once the cabaret upstart was a golden faucet of song, but since she messed up her karma in 2007 by cracking a feminism joke that men didn't find cute, not to mention understand, the originals have dried up. So as cabaret stalwarts will, she's turned to Other People's Material. Having reimagined Doris Day in 2009, she ups the ante and reimagines the '60s in 2015. And from the sublime "Sunny Afternoon" and "If I Fell" to the ridiculous "Red Rubber Ball" and "Mrs. Brown You've Got a Lovely Daughter," from the secret class politics of Alan Price and Moby Grape to the out-there freak politics of Frank Zappa and Jefferson Airplane, she manifests more historical grasp than any psych band yet to show its hand. Songs are so much easier to hold onto than acid visions you can only dream about.