Colleen Green, Sock it to Me

J. Edward Keyes

By J. Edward Keyes

on 07.17.13 in Reviews

Colleen Green writes simple songs about simple things and records them as simply as possible. The first song on the irresistible Sock it to Me is basically just Green singing, “Oh yeah, uh-huh, oh God, I really love my boyfriend,” and the lazer-light dollar-store Elastica song “You’re So Cool” builds to an equally straightforward refrain: “You’re so cool, how do you do it? You act like there is nothing to it.” Her logo is a stick-figure drawing of herself that looks not entirely unlike Fido Dido‘s long-lost sister, and her music is defiantly, joyously basic: just Green’s distorted guitar, pouting voice and a Goodwill Store drum machine.

But lean closer in and the images start to distort. Green opens the provocatively-titled “Every Boy Wants a Normal Girl” by singing, “Sometimes I wish I was a normal girl,” and then follows it with the height of abnormality: “Like the ones on TV, like the ones in the movies.” The drowsy “Darkest Eyes” scans quickly as plainspoken puppy love, with Green celebrating her true love’s eyes and contemplating how to retain his affections. And what’s her solution? “There’s no better way to keep appearances preserved/ than a razor to the optic nerve.” And then you skip back to that first song, the one where she’s singing about loving her boyfriend, and catch what she says near the ending: “When he tells me that he loves me, I lose the air from my lungs/ his love has finally killed me.” Sock it to Me is strychnine-laced Strawberry Fanta.