Donna Regina Slow Killer

[Karaoke Kalk; 2005]

Rating: 3.5/5

Styles: Euro-pop, electronic
Others: Air, Stereolab

Donna Regina, only partially the name of one half of the duo comprised of Regina Janssen (vocals) and Gunter Janssen (guitar), has a dominating effect on my listening experience. Though I knew ahead of time that no such person actually existed, Regina's voice centers this album as if Slow Killer is the foray into exquisitely edgy pop of an established superstar. It's too bad that the album is not that high-profile, because it is full of lovely moments, exemplified by the opening trio of tres chic euro-cool tunes. "Little Baby" kicks things off with an upbeat amalgamation of awkward beats, buoyant synths, and a kitchen sink of assorted sounds. "End of September" shifts gears with a repetitious guitar riff and vocal melody which sound ripped from your local 'oldies' station, but backed by synth washes that mark it as distinctly modern. "Lazy Heart" is my personal favorite of the three, with the strongest melody, most clever production, and a horn interlude that comes out of left field and changes the mood of the song; it's one of the most odd but catchy pop tunes I've heard all year. Never returning to quite the same level of pop-aspiration, the remainder of the album finds itself more concerned with striking a balance between a groove and a melody. This works particularly well when the duo stretches out on lengthier songs like "My Melancholy Man" and "Mirame Miraba." However, as a whole, the longer tracks create an awkward momentum that tends to make the album drag. Nonetheless, Donna Regina's good far outweighs the bad, and Slow Killer certainly deserves recommendation.

1. Little Baby
2. End of September
3. Lazy Heart
4. Secrets
5. My Melancholy Man
6. Fast as a Shark
7. Enemy
8. Mirame Miraba
9. How Beautiful
10. Slow Killer