Wendie Colter – Payday

Ms. Colter is a singer-songwriter from L.A. who once fronted a combo called Box The Walls. This record came out a few years back, but has been reissued by this Zip Records subsidiary. There has been some tinkering with the mixes and track order, and a bonus track appended.

Wendie Colter - PaydayMs. Colter has one of those voices that swoops and soars, to almost the cracking point, that admittedly doesn’t tend to connect with me. But lead off track 7th Wave is a firm, tight slice of Pop-Rock, with insistent tom-led verses and snappy choruses complete with handclaps, and a nice contrasting treated vocal in the bridge.

The Peephole Queen is led by a savory electric piano that leads to all the right places riding on top of a marching rhythm, and then enchants with a succulent chorus. The following String Of Pearls is a dusky, haunting ballad.

But the key for me is the aforementioned bonus track. It’s a cover of Joe Meek’s whiz kid arranger Charles Blackwell’s Only You Can Do It. First created for the Vernon Girls (of 1964) and then redone a year later by Francoise Hardy (which is where the booklet notes gets it wrong), it’s a big, echo-laden, Spectoresque, mid-tempo ballad complete with the castanets.

Produced, arranged and played by a reformed, early ‘80s, Australian, Beatlesesque, New Wave band called the Innocents, it’s like nothing else here — truly the big finale.

[Released by Yukon 2001]
Wendie Colter website

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