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Current concise reviews of the albums by adult alternative, contemporary, and crossover artists. Images of album artwork and links to both internet-based resources are always included. Click on the title to view the article.

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Neptune City CD Cover
Image © Columbia Records 2007

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Interview and Photos (2007)


(20 October 2007) After a viral buildup of anticipation from a featured role in a recently aired American Express commercial, Nicole Atkins' debut full length CD Neptune City is being broadly released at the end of October. The album includes ten rock numbers drawing on up to date variations of sounds of the 60s and and 70s.

Nicole is touring this autumn supporting the Danish band The Raveonettes -- also from the Sony BMG family -- to promote the album. Sadly her performance in Buffalo, NY was put off to a later date after a vocal blow out the night before in NYC. The singer learnt several life lessons in the early days of this tour.

We caught up with Nicole after successful live performances in the major midwest cities of Chicago and Detroit this past week to talk about the Amex advert, her music and her future dreams. Read the results of our interview here.

Nicole's musical recording history begins with a self-produced 2005 demo EP entitled Party's Over. Although the nine track EP itself is not generally available, enthusiastic supporters openly exchange mp3s of the recording. Listeners will certainly hear the roots of Nicole's sound in the tracks and note that several of the titles carried through the projects that followed.

Columbia Records signed Nicole in 2006 and a six track EP entitled Bleeding Diamonds was properly released. Enthusiasts can still find this EP from popular second hand sellers. Re-recordings of four of the tracks from the Party's Over demo appear on the Bleeding Diamonds EP and a couple of further improved versions have made it all the way to the debut album.

Neptune City is especially well producted with rich instrumental arrangements supporting the power and range of Nicole's well recorded voice. Listeners will hear rich upbeat rock tunes with multiple layers of harmony vocals and should not expect any sort of ordinary pop album in Neptune City. Both Nicole and her producers were going for more of a Bruce Springsteen sound and they have achieved the texture of Jersey Shore rock.

In addition to the title track, the album standouts include lushious harmonies "Maybe Tonight," "Love Surreal" and the dramatic ballad "Brooklyn's On Fire." Many will be intrigued by the combination of emotional delivery and soaring vocal melodies in the recording. "Kill The Headlights" is another outstanding illustration of the young woman's vocal chops.Neptune City is a solid rock debut from an artist that many listeners will be very keen to hear more from in the future. Try to catch her live.

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