March 6, 2008

Test Spin: Thao Nguyen

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Every detail composing We Brave Bee Stings and All, situates the singer Thao Nguyen as the perfect Juno MacGuff doppelganger. Thao’s androgynous voice stands in for Juno’s ballsy but completely female attitude.

Also shared is that pithy and kinda witty language: Juno said, “Hi, I’m calling to procure a hasty abortion …” and “They call me the cautionary whale.” Thao sings, “As sharp as I sting / It still soothes you, doesn’t it?” And then, “We don’t dive / We cannonball.” In the end, Thao relishes in the same aesthetic as the hit movie Juno: Animated and spunky and a little bit predictable. But there’s undeniable appeal in magically recognizing a tune at first listen.

Critics called that magic “old fashioned values” in reference to Juno. I’ll just call it — I don’t know — charm, and also cohesion, simplicity, craft. Whatever that special quality is, like Juno this winter, Thao is surely poised to be a hit.