theettesThe new album from Nashville based rock trio the Ettes, Do You Want Power, is somewhat gritty and a bit more poppy than their 2006 debut, which may or may not be a disappointment to their longtime fans, but they haven’t lost their knack for writing catchy tunes. The music here retains the blues, garage and punk rock mix that made that first album so memorable, and while they’ve retained their edges, they’ve also polished those edges up quite a lot this time out, adding some psychedelic and power pop touches here and there. They’ve even thrown in a couple of country inspired ballads, “Love Lies Bleeding” and “While Your Girl’s Away.” Do You Want Power is certainly their best sounding album, their most wide-ranging, and generally their most accomplished and fun set of music yet. Standout cuts: “I Can’t Be True,” “Modern Game,” “Seasons” and “No Home.”

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I had some adjusting to do when I first listened to the second album by Los Angeles based the Ettes, as the 60’s inspired garage band sound from their debut, Shake The Dust, was still mostly there, but lead singer Coco’s vocals had a different character this time out. Her singing, which had a grittiness and earthiness to it that was also reflected in the lyrics (see “Dirty” off the first album as an example), sounded a lot more poppy this time out, a lot less raw, more Leslie Gore than Nancy Sinatra. The 11 songs collected on Look At Life Again Soon retain the same catchy, short and sweet approach, but they sound less, well, dangerous on this album, and it’s not a change I necessarily welcomed. That said, the fusion of 60’s bubblegum pop with garage rock works well enough that I eventually warmed up to the new sound, especially on tracks like “I Get Mine,” “Marathon,” “Crown Of Age” and “Pay Up.” I’m certainly not opposed to bands I like striking out in new directions, but I’m hoping to see more of the gritty, raw Ettes I was initially sold on next time out.

http://www.myspace.com/theettes