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Prairie Doll is not only the name of her band, but of her extraordinary new six song EP. It is identified in her press material as a "(mostly) live-in-the-studio" recording. The band must have a wonderful rapport with Witten because the songs are as organic and polished as any fully agonized-over production. Perhaps that rapport is helped by Witten's apparent egalitarian spirither name appears on the cover of this album only among the listing of the other members of Prairie Doll. Although this is an EP, there is a full albums worth of favorite tunes.
As if she knows that shes got to make a good impression fast in this brief album, her album opener, "Wild One," starts off with an infectious slow rock beat and some great lines. "Stable is for horses, careful is for nuns/ Goes fast, gets dirty, dangerous is fun." "Something Beautiful" puts an unusual spin on unrequited love, enjoying feeling sorry for the misdirected affections of her intended, yet realizing that her enjoyment is just a lie to herself. Thats a lot of baggage for a five-minute slow cooker, but it worksa great bit of songwriting.
"Level Green Boys" grabs you with the first line, "I was struck sober on a day like this/ But I wasnt struck honest or brave." It also has the hookiest chorus of the album. You can tell a great hook when it has a line that you are clueless aboutwhat the heck is a "Level Green boy?"
Prairie Doll rounds out the album with "For You," a nice ballad with some effective harmony singing by Rich DePaolo, "How Long Til Its Over," a straightforward pop tune, and "Call The Angels," an unpretentious, heartfelt elegy.
After so much fine music, I feel a little greedy wanting more.Michael Devlin
[Patti Witten's previous album, Land of Souvenirs, received a Picks review in Issue 14 of the Music Matters Review. There are still some copies of this issue available. Click here for more info.]