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CD Review: Devil Doll

By Shaun Clayton
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Tuesday Apr. 9, 2002

Queen of Pain

(Lucky Bluebird)


Grade:
Sh

aun Clayton

Devil Doll recently played at the Rialto Theatre, promoted as a combination of swing and punk. The swing stylings are obvious, with the jazzy horns, rhythmic piano and subtle bass guitar, but to label Queen of Pain "punk" is a bit of a stretch.

There are no laments for pinheads, no calls for overthrowing the government and no calls for random killings and property destruction in the name of good fun.

Instead, what one gets from Queen of Pain are the sultry vocals of Colleen Duffy, who sounds like a 1940s version of Gwen Stefani. Pouty - yet with vintage refinement - singing about love turned sour on "Left," "16 Days" and just about every track on this album.

It makes one wonder what kind of relationships Duffy has gotten herself into. Surely, the picture of her in the inside cover, brandishing a gun, angry dog beside her says, "Look, but don't touch."

Still, it is not the lack of variety that makes this album seem less than it should be. It is just that there is nothing to Devil Doll's sound to really distinguish it, to really make it shine, to make one get up and say, "Hey, this is - holy crap, wow!"

It is one thing to play an instrument well or have a voice that hits every note, but it is another thing entirely to make music really hit the listener, to smack them upside the head and leave a bruise that they will obsessively touch as they go through their daily routine.

Overall, Queen of Pain is akin to looking at a very detailed oil painting of fruit. Sure, you can appreciate the time and effort put into a still life, but in the end, it's just fruit.

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