Lenka, Two

Marc Hogan

By Marc Hogan

Lead News Writer
on 03.08.11 in Reviews



For pop songwriter Lenka Kripac, former singer and keyboardist with Sydney post-rock band Decoder Ring, good things really do come in pairs. On her second solo album, the recently-engaged Brooklyn resident savors couplehood, with enough sweetly hooky tunes to please fans of Kate Nash, Regina Spektor or even Adele.

Cutely catchy Aussie finds love, doubles her fun

Not that Two is just a lovey-dovey rehash of Lenka's self-titled debut. That album's big song was "The Show," a Broadway-ready production that compared life to a performance. By contrast, first Two single "Heart Skips a Beat" uses robotic vocal shadings to wrestle with a new love's anxieties. Lenka's latest not only ditches its predecessor's mild melancholy, it also sheds most of its theatricality, embracing electronics like a beaming fiancé. If Lenka was meant for the stage, Two feels like it was meant for the radio.

Lenka's Australian-accented voice still chirps winsomely over jaunty ivories, and sometimes the strings do stretch toward Phil Spector's Wall of Sound. But the production team here — which includes guys who've overseen albums for Bat for Lashes and Björk — rarely shies away from sleekly emotive electro-pop. Take late-album highlight "You Will Be Mine," harp-inflected Eurodance halfway between Saint Etienne and Britney Spears. For sure, Lenka's lyrics have little on her countrymen — and past collaborators — Darren Hanlon or the Lucksmiths. And she's hardly breaking new ground. As bubblegum-tinted pop goes, though, Two is pure Doublemint.