Nellie McKay Get Away From Me (Columbia) Rating: NNN
When a 19-year-old singer/pianist (and former amateur comic) can convince a major label to release a double CD as her debut, it makes me feel like I'm not doing enough in the world. Yes, Nellie McKay is brash - she doesn't like singing the same lyrics twice, and the aforementioned lyrics are often topical and satirical. However, her voice can go in many, many different directions, and so can her style. She runs through various genres adeptly, at best, although her attempts at rapping sound more like Anthony Kiedis than Lauryn Hill, and even Laurie Anderson. But her song arrangements and range are impressive; the latter is probably assisted by the production of Beatles engineer Geoff Emerick. Nellie McKay performs Thursday (March 25) at the El Mocambo (494 Spadina).