Nicole Atkins, Mondo Amore

Laura Leebove

By Laura Leebove

Managing Editor
on 01.17.11 in Reviews

Mondo Amore

Nicole Atkins
Ultimately a huge step forward

On her second full-length, Mondo Amore, Nicole Atkins's songs span from orchestral and blues-inspired ("Vultures"), to country and twangy ("My Baby Don't Lie"), to slow and loungey ("War Is Hell"). Her mighty alto is versatile: Tracks like "Hotel Plaster" "Heavy Boots" have a cabaret feel similar to Clare and the Reasons, while "You Come to Me" has moments more reminiscent of P.J. Harvey. Atkins still walks a fine line between having a diverse repertoire and being all over the place, but Mondo Amore is ultimately a huge step forward. The instrumentation on 2007's Neptune City was overwhelmingly dramatic and overpowering, and though Mondo Amore might not have any fewer hands, the band is used in a way that complements Atkins's voice instead of taking away from it.