A Fine Frenzy, "Bomb in a Birdcage"

Album Review
3.5
<p>With a <a href="http://www.billboard.com/#/artist/tori-amos/19023">Tori Amos</a> mane of tomato-red hair, a gauzy voice made to deliver her bookish lyrics and more than 1 million followers on Twitter, <a href="http://www.billboard.com/#/artist/a-fine-frenzy/809461">A Fine Frenzy</a> leader Alison Sudol is ready for her close-up. The band's second album, "Bomb in a Birdcage," builds on the more ethereal qualities of its 2007 buzz-heavy debut, "One Cell in the Sea," by focusing as much on drums as on Sudol's percussive piano playing. The added energy suits her melodies well. Such tracks as "What I Wouldn't Do," "Electric Twist" and the first single, "Blow Away," churn like giddy summer romances, nailing the delicate balance of charming and smart. Hand claps, swirling guitars and Sudol's coquettish voice create a shoegaze-meets-folk mashup that usually bears a British stamp (see <a href="http://www.billboard.com/#/artist/the-sundays/5786">the Sundays</a>, <a href="http://www.billboard.com/#/artist/lush/5106">Lush</a>). Sudol can still deliver an acoustic bleeder, like the album closer, "Beacon," but "Bomb in a Birdcage" shows there's much more up her billowy sleeve. --Kerri Mason</p>