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Professor and MaryAnn | s/t (Bar/None)
Before you start getting all worked up about their dorky, pop-cultch name - which, thank heavens, has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with Sherwood Schwartz┬╣s 1960s tropical sitcom, Gilligan's Island - just put Professor and Maryann's (Ken Rockwell and Danielle Brancaccio) dashing new CD in the player and relax as the gentle strains of guitar, ukulele and concertina carry you far, far away... P&M features thirteen tunes laced with enough subtle whimsy and sly observation of the human condition to keep you interested as well as heaps of rich, sophisticated melodies that'll have you humming along before you know it. The real stars are, naturally, Rockwell's and Brancaccio's voices: his is a delicious, almost androgynous croon that recalls such stars of yesteryear as Dick Powell and Cliff Edwards (the voice of Jiminy Cricket in Disney's classic, Pinocchio); hers is replete with a jazzy sultriness that would stir almost anyone who still had a heart. But it's not all polka dots and moonbeams: the best bits manage a nod to history without succumbing to nostalgia. This is music for languorous afternoons spent snuggling on a faded, overstuffed chintz sofa with your favorite old Steiff bear, rereading Douglas Coupland and not minding so much that you're still alone.

LD Beghtol
CWAS #8 - Summer 2001