Since the mid-90s Tracy Bonham has been producing some fine alternative pop music. Masts of Manhatta is an interesting album which does not disappoint in giving Tracy Bonham fans more of what they have come to expect.
The album starts off with the slower and more introspective songs Devil's Got Your Boyfriend and Your Night Is Wide Open, both showcasing some fantastic musicianship - Bonham's voice and violin get a chance to really shine, as well as some intriguing guitar work by one-time Beck wingman Smokey Hormel. The slower, quieter moments on this album are enjoyable, but the album really comes into it's own on the quirkier and more Beck-esque songs.
Songs like the stand-out track Big Red Heart, which combines angular guitar riffs with violin work that sounds like it came straight off Beck's Sea Change album. Other stand out track on the album are the bouncy acoustic jigs In the Moonlight and Angel, Won't You Come Down, again showcasing top notch musicianship, as well as bitingly sarcastic and witty lyrics, another strong suit of Bonham's.
This album is clearly indebted to and a product of the city it takes its name from. It is a bustling and energetic album which features enough quirkiness and wit to keep it interesting. It really is a terrible shame that a lot of mainstream pop music is nowhere near as good as this, an album of hummable melodies and endless charm.