Slan Electric Blues

Long before Sook-Yin Lee became known as "the cool chick” on MuchMusic, she fronted the Vancouver indie rock band Bob’s Your Uncle. So it’s not a huge leap for the current CBC radio host to jump back into the music biz — and it’s certainly not an ego-stroking effort like Master T’s post-Much compilations. That said, Lee’s collaboration with the Black Europeans — aka Maximum 60 and Rumble, two urban producers who have previously worked with the Dream Warriors and Junior Reid — is entirely reliant on her front-woman charms. The music itself is essentially a ‘60s spy flick-influenced beatscape, consistent enough to shake champagne to, but still filled with plenty of interesting electronic tics and catchy hooks. Lee’s low voice, however, is an unwieldy tool, which often doesn’t quite match the music — something that comes clear on an instrumental track like "Anxiety.” Her old-world cabaret phrasing may capture a retro vibe, but since Lee’s voice doesn’t float like, say, late Stereolab singer Mary Hansen, it too often weighs the songs down. (Last Gang)