Jim Bianco – *sing

“To hell with the devil/ I’m selling my soul to you” Jim Bianco sings on his latest release. On albums past, Bianco has been known to fill his lush, seductive compositions with references to Beelzebub, and his new effort, *sing, is no different. A rich mix of sexy tangos and quirky melodies, Bianco delivers an album on par with 2004’s Handsome Devil.

Laden with tales of debauchery, depravity and unrestrainable desire, *sing is the first release off the Hotel Café imprint and to be distributed Rykodisc. A logical move, as Bianco is a Hotel Café staple, both at the venue and on the annual tour. The opening track, “I Got A Thing For You,” evokes the image of a smoky, slightly seedy bar with it’s rich instrumental blends, and lyrics like “even when you sweat, you sweat with style / making my imagination run wild.”

The title track, “*sing,” opens with a delightfully lilting guitar line before it bursts into a joyful request. “Never Again” is a driving force with lyrics to rival the speed and wit Jason Mraz is known for. Bianco, however, sounds more like he belongs in a cabaret or Vaudeville show, whereas Mraz is hanging on the beach.

While the entire album is fun and strong, the weakest track is “Painkiller.” While it is a sweet sentiment, something in the song’s composition makes it seems as though Bianco is trying too hard. His strengths lie in his darker, more corrupt sounding tunes.

Available March 4th, *sing is an album worth getting. Packed with accordions and horns, and a little bit of raunch, this is not your grandpappy’s jazz.

Links:
Jim Bianco website | myspace
Rykodisc website

~Sara~

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