CD A Kiss Could Be Deadly (CD 1171031),
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A Kiss Could Be Deadly

  • 1. Exit, The
    2. Just Another Mystery
    3. Broken Music
    4. Poison IV
    5. I Guess You Didn't Mean It
    6. Damage Control
    7. Midnight Romance
    8. I Wrote You a Love Song
    9. Sequel, The (The Vampire Strikes Back)
    10. Day the Covenant Found Earth, The
    11. Book Not, The Feeling, The
    12. Acoustic Romance
  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): MET 530

  • Credits
    EngineerDaniel Castleman

    A Kiss Could Be Deadly: Lauren Baird (vocals); John Bennett (guitar); Chris Qualls (synthesizer, programming); Kelly Cairns (bass guitar); Danny Deleon (drums).
    You know times have changed when a band's sound can be characterized as "edgy" in one sentence and compared to those of Quarterflash and Scandal in the same press release. But both points are fair in the case of A Kiss Could Be Deadly, an Orange County quartet that looks back unabashedly to 1980s post-new wave pop while incorporating touches of techno and modern electronica sounds as well. The band's debut isn't quite as hooky as it clearly wants to be -- songs like "The Exit" and "Broken Music" sound great and put lead singer Lauren Baird's crystal-clear voice in a flattering light, but the cathartic payoffs you keep expecting never quite show up, at least not until "Poison IV," with its nicely crafted chord changes, double-tracked harmonies, and "whoa-oh-oh" chorus. Still, it's hard to resist the retrograde cool of this band's keyboard sound (listen to that gloriously cheesy keyboard part on "I Guess You Didn't Mean It," which sounds like it might have been recorded on a $40 Casiotone) or its tight, sharp-edged arrangements. And Baird's voice really is a wonder -- pretty and slightly girlish, but with a hard, no-nonsense edge. The weaknesses on display here are the kind that go away with time and practice, and none of them is the kind that is likely to lead the band in the wrong direction. Recommended. ~ Rick Anderson

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