Serial Girlfriend

Jan 27, 1999 at 12:00 am

From the quintessential, prolific indie artist, this, Holly Golightly’s most recent album, is stylistically adventurous with elements of blues, country, punk, pop and ’60s garage rock in the mix. The two most evident styles are a Courtney Love, girl-guitar, rhythm rock and an acoustic-vocal production simplicity, reminiscent of bands such as Hefner or Syd Barrett circa The Madcap Laughs. Both sounds are evocative of times gone by. The beatnik guitar styling of "You Shine" and the vibe-heavy "Want No Other" conjure the laid-back party scene in Breakfast at Tiffany’s where most everyone is having a groovy old time. Then there’s the campy "Your Love is Mine" (an Ike Turner original), the psychedelic "‘Til I Get" and the Beatles’ "Revolution"-inspired "Down, Down, Down," which confirm the theory that Holly truly enjoys delving into the rock archives. Her most effective tracks, however, are the bluesy and countrified "Clean in Two" and "Where Can I Go," which feature smoky, carefree gingham vocals.

Such diversity in one album is rare and listener confusion is barely held at bay. Only Golightly’s vocals and strong rhythms provide a certain cohesion. From the aggressive, muddied guitars of "I Can’t Be Trusted" – worthy of mosh pit frenzy – to the last track, "Now," a delicate piano and vocal piece with a childish chorus, Holly Golightly succeeds more as serial musician than girlfriend.