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Chuck Eddy – Senior Editor BILLBOARD, Previously Senior Editor The Village Voice
I'm preferring the new album by Jan Bell & the Cheap Dates, Songs For Love Drunk Sinners -- especially "January Morning" and "Given" so far....a doomy prettiness....Jan has a knack for dark melodies -- as demonstrated on both her 9-11 single from a few years back and her Maybelles album from a couple years ago. Now I wish somebody would explain to me why I'm liking this new Jan Bell so much when most of it is done at a near-funeral dirge tempo. (Though "Leavin' Town" is at least a midtempo gallop, and clearly about, well, leavin' town.) Anyway, you'd think I'd hate such stuff. Guess what I like is the melodies. Which I believe are largely minor key, though don't quote me on that. Most goth folk-mood moment: the spooky witchy background mourning howls and bats in the belfry thumpdy-bumping about in "Miners." Other favorites: "January Morning," "Given," "Ships in the Air." And which are also largely beautiful, if I didn't get that point across. As is Jan's low-key singing.