Shalini We Want Jelly Donuts

It seems that anyone involved with bands for long enough will end up releasing a solo album eventually. Take Shalini - she's been involved with several bands over the years, the most famous being Vinyl Devotion. These days, though, she's doing it alone, with help from Mitch Easter. Easter was not only responsible for the album's production, he also sings, plays and wrote four of the songs (the first songs he's released in a long time). You'd expect that someone with his past would be able to come up with some great songs, but that isn't really the case - his songs are not necessarily the best on the record. That isn't so much a slight on Easter as a compliment to Shalini herself, who can write a pretty mean song. Things start off fairly sweet, with the prettier tunes, but as the album progresses the mood becomes darker and the songs become louder - it's the kind of record that keeps you on your toes because you are never quite sure what to expect. And that is reflected in the more unusual influences that rear their head from time to time, such as the vague '80s synth pop sound. For the most part, though, guitars dominate. While the songwriting and performances on We Want Jelly Donuts are impressive, like so many of the albums coming out these days it lacks that certain something that will really keep you hooked and coming back for more. (Parasol)