A Bitter Suite - The Divas
Paul's Women, on The Jukeboxes at PaulCollegio.net

Originally inspired by the stench of dead rose water and the shards of a broken vase, by the shocking gross-out discovery of tiny worms in the chocolates after you've eaten half the box, by the panic of a miscalculated Valentine card striking seconds after leaving the post office, and by the resentful misdemeanor of another's relentless, unassuming popularity, these 21 tracks (including one hidden bonus...) capture the essence of a Valentine's Day gone horribly wrong. These are not your typical divas - no Babs or Billie or Judy or Liza. Rather, these are, for the most part, the women scorned, the hoofers climbed over by the likes of Joan Crawford, the never-would-be's, the Valentines that never came. These songs go for the jugular with a crippled, vulnerable warble, a single broken note, or a gravelly, throaty melody suggesting the passage of years and the consumption of many things illicit - all for the sake of a love gone bad. For best listening, one should be lying on one's back, in a dark room, smoking vertically poised cigarettes, with a nearly full ashtray balanced on the breastbone beside a half-empty tumbler of boozey goodness. Click on an image below to open a new window, hear a torchlighter croon, and learn more than you ever wanted to know about her music. High marks will be given to anyone who can identify - before looking! - all of the ladies below. Extra credit if you have tears in your ears from lying on your back, crying, sighing and dying. All of these are presented in their original format - surface noise be damned - for that extra touch of historical sincerity.

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