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MP3 Nancy McCurry - I Need a Wife

A crisp, Folk/Pop romp into the lives of interesting heroines.

11 MP3 Songs in this album (34:06) !
Related styles: FOLK: Folk Pop, POP: Pop

People who are interested in Reba McEntire Dixie Chicks Jenny Lewis should consider this download.

"I Need a Wife" is sung from the point of view of a woman who wants the kind of undemanding, eager-to-please, housebound genie that generations of men took for granted as their entitlement. It''s a clever twist that humorously points up the conundrum faced by working women in this day and age of upended social roles: "I just want things done right/A husband can''t meet my needs/I need a wife!" The Brazilian remake of the song - appended as a "bonus track" at album''s end - features Sandy Blocker''s percussion armada and takes McCurry''s amusing conceit one surreal step further.
On a more sobering note, "She Fell Hard" details a controlling relationship turned deadly. First she fell for the guy and then she was felled by a bullet from his gun after thinking she''d escaped his clutches. You hear of such jealousy-fueled stalker homicides happening all too often, but McCurry''s somber musical setting animates the tragedy in a way that no newspaper account can match.
McCurry''s heroines are an interesting lot. Inspired by Harper Lee''s novel To Kill a Mockingbird, "Busting Up a Chiffarobe" describes her feisty narrator''s determination to escape the rut into which previous generations were trapped: "Won''t get hitched or have a kid/Ten young''uns like mama did/Marry some boy from down the road/That sounds like a heavy load." And so she takes figurative revenge on her "chiffarobe": a chest of drawers containing the clothes she''s no longer willing to wear. "I''ll take a hammer to that thing/Swing it hard, let freedom ring!" she sings in this exhilarating anthem to breaking free.
McCurry''s songs are so strong that I could imagine the Dixie Chicks or one of Nashville''s hipper femme singers having a go at several of them. The aforementioned "She Fell Hard" is a tailor-made and unfortunately topical commentary on domestic violence. "Beehives and Knives" - a gut-busting romp about losing a guy to the charms of the beehive-haired, thick-armed, polyester-attired lady who chops pork at the local barbeque joint - offers a solid shot of comic relief. I''m also partial to "Cool in the Shade," whose jazzy chords and dusky, Astrud Gilberto-style vocals, cast an enchanting spell.
All in all, I Need a Wife is a wholly entertaining left-field surprise from "Miss Nancy" McCurry, and I can only hope there''s more where this came from. --Parke Puterbaugh

Mr. Puterbaugh is a contributing writer for Rolling Stone Magazine, teacher and music historian.

Tags: pop
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