(Review) Big City, Dirty Nights by Rhonda Readence

Big City, Dirty Nights (EP Cover)Artist: Mama’s Dirty Li’l Secret
Album: Big City, Dirty Nights
Review by Rhonda Readence
Rating: 4 stars (out of 5) 

Taking Brooklyn NY by storm, Mama’s Dirty Li’l Secret proclaim themselves “soul punk” and describes their sound as “If Prince were punk.” They strive to add sex appeal into each song on their album Big City, Dirty Nights, and for the most part, they succeed. The Deacon’s strong vocals and blazing guitar work are coupled nicely with the artistry of JavOnDrums and the balls-to-the wall bass playing of Oki Kintama.

Carrying a strong punk influence, the opening track “Dirty Nights” is a high energy piece that will have legions of fans banging their heads and rocking out. With an edginess that screams of rebellion, this infectious piece is an excellent intro to MDLS, and seeing it performed live would be an experience one would likely not forget. Lyrically, the song has a strong sexual content which is presented with brazen honesty, and The Deacon’s signature vocal style has enough power to bring an audience to its knees.

“Been A Minute Since I Needed You” picks up the tempo a bit and leaves no doubt that MDLS are consummate professionals. The musicianship is tight, the sound quality is stellar and music just doesn’t get much better than this. The lyrics make it clear that this band can get along just fine on their own, thank you very much. There is an angry undertone, but listeners will be able to relate to it well and will no doubt sing along when MDLS plays this one live.

“Sweet Memories” might be what is considered the album’s slow song, although it still packs one hell of a punch. There is a sexy vibe to this track that is almost bluesy, and the lyrics are well-written, thoughtful, and honest. The Deacon’s delivery is confident, and it is nice to know he can carry a slower tune just as strongly as he carries a fast one. The instrumentation is wonderful and this artistic piece will become a fan favorite.

“Big City Underground” brings us right back into the fast-paced, super sexy world of MDLS. This band has a knack for writing energetic pieces that have the perfect tempo. Not so fast that the lyrics are overlooked, but not so slow as to lose the listener’s attention. This track is a perfect example of the skilled songwriting employed by this band, and the thought that goes into the composition of each piece.

Big City, Dirty Nights leaves us wanting more with a soul punk rendition of the classic “My Favorite Things.” Mama’s Dirty Li’l Secret adds their own twist to this cheerfully innocent tune. Who knew that a band could make such a cute song sound so edgy and dark? The only complaint listeners will have of this album is that it is too short. Five songs just don’t satisfy, but perhaps it is their intent to leave us hungry. Too much of a good thing can get old, and good bands know when to say when. Fans will look forward to the next album with the hope that they can enjoy more of this good thing.


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