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Mal Blum's Pragmatic Love Songs 

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As I listen to Brooklyn's Mal Blum, who on May 7 released Tempest in a Teacup, her fifth album, I have passing thoughts of innocence, of youthful affection. Her voice is sentimental and daringly honest. In particular, I get these waves of reminiscence hearing her alter-love song, “Valentine’s Day." Though no one would mistake her vocal capacity for that of Adele, Mal Blum’s voice is no less beautiful, with a common sense of playfulness. The arresting single conjures images of a sun-drenched bedroom recording session, with empty beer bottles from last night strewn across the floor. Her lyrics possess a playfulness that avoids the regular trappings of overblown love songs. There are no unrealistic analogies, only direct dialogue.

“I brought you some of that Odwalla green juice/ that you seemed to like/ 'cause you know how I like you.”

Never are her intentions more straightforward than in the refrain, “Let’s stop cheating on each other.” Surprisingly, there is no latent sense of anger or distaste in her voice, only a pragmatic solution to finding happiness. She makes it sound almost too easy.

Listen to the album version here.

Read the lyrics and listen to the acoustic and unmixed demo version here.

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January 26, 2022

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