Make My Head Sing…

Make My Head Sing…

Jessica Lea Mayfield’s third album, Make My Head Sing…, is her most realized work to date. By stripping things down to just her, her husband/bassist Jesse Newport, and drummer Matt Martin, Mayfield achieves the primal but pretty sound that her work with The Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach skirted around. “Oblivious” starts with a nasty feedback blast and a sense that things will get plenty dirty, but the glorious velvet pop of “I Wanna Love You” and “Standing in the Sun” announce to everyone that sometimes sweetness is more effective. This "catching more flies with honey than vinegar" approach frees Mayfield from whatever genres she’d previously been considered a practitioner of. The guitars underpinning “Pure Stuff” may sound like those found at the bottom of a Nirvana album, but the mix pushes Mayfield’s pure voice into enough reverb to transform everything into dreampop. There are still traces of her old sound. She sounds like a Cat Power understudy for the slow haunt of “Party Drugs,” while “No Fun” treads in that territory before the band kicks her into a gear of her own. But elsewhere, Mayfield has found her own voice.

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