Monday 16 August 2010


As a lyricist Maria McKee’s always had a touch of cynical but humane wit about her and that shows through no more strongly on Life is Sweet than on track six - Smarter - as she gives us the tale of a girl who, when confronted by a string of truly remarkable events, including an encounter with Jesus, remains resolutely unimpressed, perhaps echoing the Peggy Lee song Is That All There Is?

As well as injecting a touch of dry humour into Life is Sweet, Smarter also heralds a noticeable shift in the album’s values as, in its second half, it moves away from the vigorous melodrama of its first few tracks and into a more introverted, almost languid sound, a sound the album will never really shake off from this point on. In this way, Life is Sweet may perhaps be seen as an album of two halves, albeit the second of those halves being slightly longer than the first.

Of all the tracks on the album, Smarter shows the influence of early 90s’ grunge music more than any other and, as such, is slightly atypical. But it’s a nice track - if one that takes a bit more getting used to than the previous offerings on the album - and which sets up the disk’s second half perfectly.

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