It has taken seven years for Jill Cunniff's solo debut to emerge from the wreckage of her old band, Luscious Jackson, but it's the most assured and complete album she's ever released. City Beach feels like an older, wiser counterpart of LJ's Fever In, Fever Out. It's full of infectiously danceable pop with an urbane air, veering easily from the funky, horn-fueled Euro-dance of "NYC Boy" and the plush lounge-pop of "Apartment 3" to the Blondie-copping of "Love is a Luxury." The arrangements throughout, no matter where Cunniff is drawing from, are energetic, well-constructed and pretty much irresistible. This is a summer record, just in time for spring. But it also reaffirms the woman-forward confidence that her work has always promoted. "Exclusive" takes on the perennial commitment-phobic male with a smart, Hot AC feel that recalls Aimee Mann, only more limber in the hips; "Future Call" suggests Daft Punk doing bossa nova as Cunniff coos a seductive rap and threatens to tear down the shopping malls; and "Eye Candy," an album highlight, is a barnstorming could-be chart topper best described as the realized version of what Liz Phair must have had in mind when she contracted the Matrix a few years ago. Welcome back, Jill.
Chris Parker writes about music for Metro Times. Send comments to email@example.com.
We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Support Local Journalism.
Join the Detroit Metro Times Press Club
Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.
Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.
Join the Metro Times Press Club for as little as $5 a month.