Dirty Little Secret


aec.cdb5637202194.2 6/29/04 New

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    Dirty Little Secret Dessert First Records

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Review Text Ali Handal displays a good deal of refinement and chops on her first solo release Dirty Little Secret. Fans of Ani DiFranco's jumpy, sincere folk-rock will get a charge out of this Los Angeles area musician's excellent guitar work and personal songwriting. Singer/guitarist Handal employs fellow Angelinos Peter Parada (drums) and James Werts (bass) for support, and Tim Bomba highlights all three musicians' more than competent performances with excellent production. The resulting CD is the sonic equal of any major label (read: larger budget) record of its kind. Handal is never overshadowed by her professional sidemen, as her shimmering guitar work and superb vocals prove to be Dirty Little Secret's greatest strengths. Folky quips and percussive guitar rhythms power the standout opening tracks "Slave to Ambition" and "While You're Here." Things really heat up when Handal moans her way through the sultry "Convince Me," displaying an emotional range that's rare among her more deliberate '90s girl rock contemporaries. The songstress also manages to eschew droll singalong choruses, utilizing tight song structures to keep things moving at a brisk pace. Tracks like "Distance" highlight Dirty Little Secret's sometimes clever, sometimes moralizing lyrics that occasionally echo DiFranco's nakedness-as-honesty rhetoric a bit too forcefully. Ali Handel makes up for these rare trouble spots with excellent guitar work, mature songcraft, and shining vocal performances. ~ Vincent Jeffries

Track Listing

CD: 1

  1. 1. Slave to Ambition - 3:02
  2. 2. While You're Here - 3:29
  3. 3. Convince Me - 4:29
  4. 4. In Your Name - 5:10
  5. 5. Distance - 3:37
  6. 6. Distance - 0:12
  7. 7. Interlude - 3:23
  8. 8. Indy - 3:05
  9. 9. Tie Me Up - 4:12
  10. 10. What Are You Waiting For? - 4:14
  11. 11. Arms of a Stranger - 4:31
  12. 12. Dirty Little Secret - 0:19

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