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CD Reviews: Kay Hanley
Kay Hanley: The Babydoll EP
October 2004
By: Sara Zeno
album cover of Kay Hanley's The Babydoll EP

The Babydoll EP from Kay Hanley is the newest tantalizing nugget from this continually striking musician. The songwriting abounds with sparkling images: virgin snow; the fourth moon of Jupiter; juniper berry; fields of lavender; Deborah Kerr at the edge of the world. Not surprisingly, Hanley's sonorous voice seizes your attention from the opening.

The recording's sound mixes energetic rock and roll and introspective ballads. Its themes feel very adult this time around, contemplating "what God has in mind" from In Clouds and wishes for the future in Baby Doll: Darling don't you make the same mistakes as me. . . I will cut my apron strings / And you will live my hopeful dreams.

The energetic drive of Lullaby Lucky and Te Amo nicely juxtapose the slinky melancholy of Stay Stay, the most gripping songs included here. Lullaby Lucky and Te Amo lament unsuccessful affairs of the heart: You're just trouble now I see and Where you going, love? Where's your burning love for me? The song Stay Stay explores the tentative, wistful hope for love: Are we finally getting somewhere? / Say it's not too late / I'm doing the best that I can.

Hanley's latest whets the appetite for a full-length recording, creating a craving for the always compelling explorations of such a gossamer artist.