Azita Life On The Fly

Considering her romantic ties to Tortoise's John McEntire and her associations with a number of notable Chicago musicians, I had little doubt that Azita's Life On The Fly would be a good record. But while the company you keep can certainly affect your taste, nobody else can take credit for genuine musical talent — and Azita is brimming with it. Life On The Fly is a complex, meticulously produced showcase of the former Bride of No No front-woman's pop songwriting skills. With a voice somewhere between Nico's mopey croon and Joni Mitchell's humble charm (with more spunk than both put together), Azita sings about everything from big city love to Antarctica with a staggeringly well-versed melodic vocabulary. Crisp and calculated, Life On The Fly sounds near perfect, specifically when the horn section comes out to play with Azita's bouncy barroom piano rolls. Thank you, Chicago. You've done it again. (Drag City)