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Molly Thomason 

Beauty Queen (independent)

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On a second album before finishing high school, this precocious Nova Scotian holds little back. Her vocal style is free-range, in the manner of a young Van Morrison. Following a couple of exuberant opening numbers, “Amsterdam” is soothed by Ruth Minnikin’s accordion. Thomason’s lovely voice is allowed to soar, warble and moan in a nurturing setting provided by producer Dale Murray. The title song has a top-40 groove that Thomason subverts with theatrics. The Blue Engine String Quartet poshes up “My Amy (Miami).” With a sexuality that’s ambiguous but ever-present, Thomason’s the rawest thing on the album, as she should be.

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