Amazon just alerted me to a "like" of my review of this lady's album. The review was published in 2013; the album itself was crafted long before that. I have no idea how someone found that review now, but it's a welcome surprise to be reminded of it.
Bycrfounton October 3, 2013
One hesitates to mention any singer, no matter how talented, in the same gasp as the great Florence Foster Jenkins, but Miss Michelle-Marie's efforts here demand just that. This once-sprightly young woman, now in her fifties, abandoned her musical career after this debut, changed her name to "Michelle-Marie Heinemann", and went on to be a world-famous painter and perhaps the best known philanthropist in NYC (her "Toothpaste for the Toothless" charity that cares for Bowery bums is just one example). The homeless and art worlds' gains were surely the music world's loss. Thank God we have this opus to remember her youthful indiscretions.
Listen as Michelle-Marie effortlessly brings her south Georgia trailer park heritage to this collection of old classics and new wave folk, with a soft, little-girl whisper that stirs memories of swamp peepers and the screech of a rusty hinge on an outdoor privy. She may have dyed her hair blonde after leaving Georgia but she kept her roots, and that dark, brooding, yet somehow impossibly chirpy theme of being one with the muck infuses this work throughout. She brings new life to the classics, utterly transforming them by the clever insertion of her own new lyrics, many inspired by her incredibly talented son, Gowanus-Cuyaoga Heinemann, six: adding "la-dee-dah-dah-dee" to the bridge in "Garden Party" is just genius, and provokes profound, albeit morose thoughts of the late Ricky Nelson and how his career could have been so different had he just had Michelle-Marie by his side. "I am the Walrus, choochoochoochoochoochootrain" will firmly, if rudely, shove all memory of John Lennon from the listener's head, while her own composition, "You Have a Red Pickup and I Want to Screw You in its Bed" brings country music to a heretofore unimaginable new level.
Who should buy this record? Everyone! Perhaps its highest and best use is as a closing-time recording, when weary bar tenders and baristas are urging customers out the door, but police tired of dealing with recalcitrant bridge jumpers, parents of toddlers who want to punish without leaving suspicious-looking marks on their child, and dog trainers looking for an alternative to invisible fencing can, and doubtless will, find new uses for the music exemplified by this album. Should it be in your collection? You bet it should, right alongside your "Sugar Sugar" Archies Eight-track and, of course, and again, the collected works of Florence Foster Jenkins.