Alana Davis puts to death Blue Öyster Cult’s “(Don’t Fear) the Reaper” for her alb Surrender Dorothy. Transforming the song into sluggish cocktail lounge fare with arty banging going in where Buck Dharma stuck the solo works like a joke. If you don’t laugh when “Baby, now I’m your M-A-A-N” comes braying out of her, you simply don’t have a funny bone. But her record is not comedy, extracted as MP3s for some dry-humor site on the Net; it’s languid folky diddy-bopping aimed roughly at the soulful-jazz-for-stupid- upper-middle-adults demographic.
Make no mistake, Davis has a fine voice. But so do a couple young people who live a mile, give or take, north and south of you. And it’s not enough reason to bind them over for album lengths of melancholia and gray vapor now, is it? The best tune is “Benefit,” hard rock with no discernible melody but lifelike because it’s loud. Surrender successfully argues the case that many blunt implements should not be given to the boring. Get a real guitar player, already.
Alana Davis plays B.B. King’s April 6.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on March 29, 2005