The Ol' Razzle Dazzle

The Ol' Razzle Dazzle

by Missy HigginsMissy Higgins


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Missy Higgins is a major star in her native Australia, but after her first two albums failed to live up to commercial expectations in the United States, she took a few years off from music, parted ways with Warner Bros., and is releasing her third full-length project, The Ol' Razzle Dazzle, in the United States through the independent Vagrant Records imprint. The Ol' Razzle Dazzle was co-produced by Brad Jones and Butterfly Boucher, the latter something of a kindred spirit, a fellow Aussie singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist who has had her own issues with the major-label system. Together, Higgins, Jones, and Boucher have made an album that's inviting and tuneful, but also personal and down to earth, and hardly the sort of record that a major label would release in the year 2012. The fact that Boucher has played in Sarah McLachlan's road band is a happy coincidence, since this is just the sort of record that would have landed Higgins a slot in the Lilith Fair lineup back in the 1990s (and she did play a few dates on the ill-fated Lilith Fair re-launch in 2010). The Ol' Razzle Dazzle sounds and feels organic; Higgins' vocals are heartfelt and rich, but her style is that of a regular gal who isn't afraid to let her Australian accent show and doesn't have much use for acrobatic phrasing, and while these songs don't spend much time dwelling on her angst, Higgins' troubles with love and life certainly take the center stage on tunes like "Unashamed Desire," "All in My Head," and "Tricks." In many ways, the solid, careful craft of these recordings, the unobtrusive production, and the very natural interplay between the musicians (with Higgins, Boucher, and Jones handling most of the instruments themselves) recall the singer/songwriter era of the 1970s. While Higgins used to be compared to Vanessa Carlton on a near daily basis, this material sounds more mature and less poppy than her first two albums, though "Temporary Love" and "Set Me on Fire" show she hasn't lost her knack for a radio-ready melodic hook. The Ol' Razzle Dazzle isn't a radical break from Higgins' previous work, but it does represent a welcome, grown-up simplicity that serves her well; despite the title, the lack of empty razzle-dazzle is one of the things that make Higgins' first album in five years something worth hearing.

Product Details

Release Date: 07/17/2012
Label: Vagrant Records
UPC: 0601091074521
catalogNumber: 745

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Missy Higgins   Primary Artist,Acoustic Guitar,Piano,Electric Piano,Vocals,Background Vocals,Moog Synthesizer,Hand Clapping,Stylophone,Tibetan Bowls,Animal Sounds
Brad Jones   Organ,Bass,Mandolin,Electric Guitar,Harmonium,Keyboards,Moog Synthesizer,Vibes,Marxophone,Guitar (7 String Electric)
Daniel Tashian   Organ,Keyboards
Chris Carmichael   Strings
David Henry   Violin,Cello
Lindsay Jamieson   Percussion,Drums
James Nixon   Background Vocals
Butterfly Boucher   Organ,Acoustic Guitar,Bass,Percussion,Piano,Drums,Electric Guitar,Keyboards,Background Vocals,Guitar (7 String Electric),Guitar (Baritone),Animal Sounds
Nick Buda   Percussion,Drums
Dawson Wells   Hand Clapping
Dave Higgins   Background Vocals,Animal Sounds

Technical Credits

Kevin Griffin   Composer
Brad Jones   Producer,Engineer
Dan Wilson   Composer
Butterfly Boucher   Composer,Programming,Producer,Engineer
Melissa Chenery   Management
Missy Higgins   Composer
Katie Herzig   Composer
Kate Tucker   Artwork,Layout
John Watson   Management
Stephen Turney   Engineer
Amiel Courtin-Wilson   Composer

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