Bathtub Love Killings

by: Olivia Jean

Olivia Jean formerly led the Nashville-based retro rockers Black Belles, but perhaps the best way to view her is as a Jack White protégée, somebody that has been taken under Third Man's wing and encouraged to flourish. She showed up on several White-produced projects and her 2014 debut, Bathtub Love Killings, is produced by the man himself. More than that, Bathtub Love Killings feels a bit like an answer record to White's 2014 album Lazaretto, a brightly colored, eccentric romp through the back alleys of Americana. Many of White's tricks are here, whether it's thick sheets of fuzz, stuttering blues rhythms, a bit of stylish '60s swing tempered by hints of '80s new wave, or country ballads balanced by garage rock squall. The songs are good and Olivia Jean has a coquettish wink to her delivery that's beguiling, but the star is White's multi-faceted production. Because he's not responsible for the songs, he's allowed himself to get loose and indulge in some fleet-footed trickery that makes Bathtub Love Killings more fun than his own projects that it so strongly resembles. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine

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