Britta Phillips: Luck or Magic (Double Feature) Review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Britta Phillips

Luck or Magic

Double Feature

Apr 27, 2016 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

After a three decade long career featuring stints as the original singing voice of Jem in the ‘80s cartoon Jem and the Holograms followed by Belltower; Ultrababyfat; the recently reunited Luna; and Dean & Britta, her ongoing band with husband Dean Wareham, Britta Phillips has finally and remarkably released her debut solo album. Despite the couple’s recent relocation to Los Angeles, a slightly cool and at times frosty vibe permeates this record, which comprises five originals and five covers. Two of the covers are of well-known songs such as Fleetwood Mac’s “Landslide” and The Cars’ “Drive.” Phillips coyly deadpans the vocals to the latter while wisely keeping the melodic structure and basic arrangement of the original. The analog synth sounds make these songs her own, and it’s telling that these two electronic-tinged covers were produced by now sadly-deceased DJ and rave pioneer Scott Hardkiss. After Hardkiss’ passing, the rest of this was recorded much later with DFA house engineer Eric Broucek, yet the album flows beautifully and doesn’t feel disjointed at all. Among the other covers are Dennis Wilson’s brilliant “Fallin’ in Love” single, the 1969 Evie Sands obscurity “One Fine Summer Morning,” and “Wrap Your Arms Around Me,” the 1983 debut solo single by Abba’s Agnetha Fältskog.

The originals here fall along similar sounds, producing a cool, mellow, and lovely record. One exception is the slightly unsettling closing track “Ingrid Superstar,” named after the former Andy Warhol superstar who disappeared in 1984 and has not been found. It’s a fitting reminder of Britta’s connection to Warhol, particularly on Dean & Britta’s 2009 release 13 Most Beautiful Songs for Andy Warhol’s Screen Tests. (

Author rating: 7/10

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Average reader rating: 9/10


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