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Dressy Bessy | Electrified (Transdreamer)
As six years have rolled on since their debut release, tracing the development of Dressy Bessy is like recounting the highlights of a friendship with a friend, after some years away. As the debut release, 'Pink Hearts Yellow Moons' was pre-teen innocence and faith in love, 'Sound Go Round' and 'Dressy Bessy' were voyages into adulthood; zits, snogging, beer and fumbling, so 'Electrified' is hardened and wiser. Tammy Ealom's voice is huskier than previous releases, more akin to Debbie Harry or Kim Deal as opposed to the soft tones of Diana Ross or Ronnie Ronette. The lyrics are more biting too: "You think you've fallen in love... once/Get gone," Ealom hammers out in Small.
Yet, for all its toughened tones and brazen sounds, its heart is still soft, fun-filled and yearning, granting 'Electrified' an almost tragic romance. Dressy Bessy can't help but step out from behind the production's new found fa├žade, Second Place is all flirty riffs, disco boogie and sunshine, but the song is still a plea (minor chord changes sneak in and Ealom's voice demands love). It's enchanting, to hear their history resonate within the current songs and the only time it fails is when it's all flirtatiousness without the saddened poignancy. Here the music lacks soul, almost when the music is at its most confident. For the most part though this is tenderness dressed in defiance.

Jon Falcone
October 2005