I understand why singer-songwriter Nellie McKay named her debut-album 'Get Away From Me'. She defines the word 'bitch', as is shown in songs such as It's A Pose and Sari. Or maybe she just knows what's wrong with this world and she isn't afraid to say it out loud.
Get Away From Me is a double-disc album with a total of 18 songs, released in 2004. It contains a little touch of jazz, some rock, a bit of pop and even a few rap-songs. Her lyrics are humorous and sarcastic, which turns out to be an ingenious way to discuss touchy subjects (listen to Inner Peace and Respectable). It seems like Nellie uses her music to fight for equality of rich and poor, male and female. Let's just say my political views match hers. I love this line in Respectable: "You've got your uppercrust dinner tux sanctimony, but you won't have nothing you'll see". And Inner Peace is a masterpiece, with lines like "Don't wanna think about the schools in Bosnia, don't wanna think about food in Somalia, I don't need this, I don't see this, all I want is inner peace".
But, like almost all musicians, Nellie also sings about love. For example, the song Baby Watch Your Back gives off a strong stalker vibe, while I Wanna Get Married introduces a side of Nellie that you wouldn't expect after hearing her feminist-flavored song It's A Pose, with lyrics such as "I just want to bake a sugar cake for you to take to work in the morn, and I'll stay home cleaning the dishes, and keeping your wishes all warm, I wanna get married, that's why I was born." I've heard she's actually serious about this song, it's not meant as a parody on married live. Reminds me of Destiny's Child's "Cater 2 U".
I must hand it to miss McKay, she can spit! She raps on both Sari and Work Song, and she actually does pretty well. If you like those songs, you should definitely listen to Mama & Me from her second album (Pretty Little Head, 2006) - makes her sound like the female Eminem!
The song Ding Dong is about suicide, though you definitely couldn't tell if you'd just listen to the melody. Interesting lyrics that made me think are "My cat died and I quickly poored myself some Gin. Did she die from old age or was it for my sins?"
Uhh yeah, and there's also a song about dogs. I must be honest, I suspect the song is not seriously about how life is all about making your dog proud of you, but I have no clue what else it could be about.
Finally, here is the tracklisting. Please give the CD a spin because it's worth it. I'm still trying to get into her other CD's (they are more difficult to listen to), but as soon as I've analysed them thoroughly I'm sure I will review them as well.
2. Manhattan Avenue
4. Ding Dong
5. Baby Watch Your Back
6. Dog Song
8. I Wanna Get Married
9. Change the World
1. It's a Pose
2. Toto Dies
3. Won't U Please B Nice
4. Inner Peace
5. Suitcase Song
6. Work Song
For more information on the amazing Nellie McKay, you can visit her official website at http://nelliemckay.com/