Maylee Todd Escapology

Maylee Todd Escapology
8
For such a bold, impavid performer, Maylee Todd seems overtly aware that a sophomore album often means a sophomore slump. On Escapology, the self-produced follow-up to 2010's Choose Your Own Adventure, she does everything in her power to not sink into it. Album opener "Baby's Got It" is zany and so vintage-playful anyone who's seen her live will already picture her hopping around in a zebra-print onesie belting it out, but it's also a clean showcase of how much stronger her voice has become since 2010. Similarly, "Did What I Could" soars thanks to the power of her thick, assuaging vocals. Todd has always been a spirited and energetic performer, but this album declares she is singing from the bottom of her soul. Things get a little sprite-like halfway through, and on "Successive Mutations," she retreats into a whisper like it's the soundtrack to a slow motion dream sequence. Later, "I Tried," the album's horn-laden tour de force, culminates in a literal scream. Todd bounces around from boisterous and daring to ruminative and rapt and ties it together by going hard on it all. Escapology is a freaky funk-soul disco party made of heart, bass and Tropicália influences. This is Todd's here-to-stay album. (Do Right!)