Keren Ann lets her folky predisposition roam expansive terrains on "Nolita," a set that tumbles at its own leisurely pace even as the winds shift from reflective wistfulness to darkly perilous.

Keren Ann lets her folky predisposition roam expansive terrains on "Nolita," a set that tumbles at its own leisurely pace even as the winds shift from reflective wistfulness to darkly perilous. Despite those extreme mood swings, the tracks harmoniously bobble alongside each other. The French-sung "Que N'ai-Je?" and "L'Onde Amèrie" are pensive and alluring, with the former's theme of a stalker pursuing a woman signified by its deftly built tension. Repetitive vocal refrains in "Greatest You Can Find" render it ponderous; subtle duplication is used to better effect when the singer/songwriter goes Simon & Garfunkel on the title track. "Midi Dans le Salon de la Duchesse" is flavored with a Western tang that sounds like the result of a one-night stand that "Mellow Yellow" and "Sea of Love" had in a desert saloon. New York also informs much of the imagery on "Nolita." One example is "Song for Alice," where actor/director Sean Gullette delivers a disquieting requiem for a homeless woman.—CLT

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