Although coquettish Australian singer-songwriter Lenka Kripac has passed her 30th birthday, she pursues her inner naïf on her eponymous solo debut (Epic). Not only is her breathy voice and phrasing essentially girlish, evoking distant memories of Melanie, her writing has an ingenuous streak ranging from little girl lost in "The Show," to the growing pains of "Anything I'm Not," and the irrational insistence of "We Will Not Grow Old." Of course, that same guilelessness also gives Lenka a sunny glow, matching the sweet pop conceits that flood the album and inspire comparisons to Björk, Burt Bacharach, and the Beatles. Her arrangements are lush with horns, strings, and electronics, but invoked with just the right restraint to ensure they're more like billowy boosts than overdoses of sugary confection. A former teen actress and member of the Aussie electronica band Decoder Ring, Lenka may suggest she's clinging to her fleeting innocence, but Lenka's songcraft shows she knows exactly what she's doing. All ages.
Thu., Jan. 29, 6:30 p.m., 2009
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