ELENI MANDELL Snakebite (Zedtone) Rating: NNNN Rating: NNNN
Eleni Mandell's third release, Snakebite is a collection of disparate odds and ends that somehow come together to form a dissonant yet appealing album. The jarring title track is totally skippable, but there are wondrous rewards in the playful cabaret aesthetic of such tracks as I Believe In Spring, with its wonky time changes and countrified lap-steel guitar, and the slow-drag two-step of Man In The Paper Hat. Mandell's crooked vocals are endearingly off-kilter yet strong. Snakebite might take time to hit you, because it's so eclectic, but you'll eventually succumb to its seductive charm. Eleni Mandell returns to the Rivoli Thursday, March 28.