MY BRIGHTEST DIAMOND: A Thousand Shark’s Teeth [Asthmatic Kitty]

If My Brightest Diamond’s 2006 debut Bring Me The Workhorse was singer/songwriter Shara Worden’s dramatic move away from the clutches of her bud/boss Sufjan Stevens, A Thousand Shark’s Teeth is a damn fine second act. Beyond the too-grand operatic rush of her tunes, it should be noted that the New York-based Worden has a great shushy voice powered by a delicious warble at its center. It’s as if Björk and Jeff Buckley got together to listen to Queen’s A Day At The Races, only without ever becoming annoying. Worden writes powerfully worrisome, anti-romantic lyrics when she isn’t cribbing from Ravel (“Black And Costaud”), and she’s suspicious and carnivorous on the mammoth roar of “Goodbye Forever.” Star-struck by string sections, harps, vibraphones and horns, Shark’s Teeth is imbued with classicist elements throughout, from the rush of “Inside A Boy” to the tinkle of “The Ice & The Storm.” Though there are crinkled guitars and tiny beats slipped into the mix, they only add to the eloquence of the lush affair. []

—A.D. Amorosi