I got an advance copy of Marykate’s new album “Underground” which is the follow up to the MK Ultra EP. In addition to one of the better tracks from the earlier EP like “Green Street” – we find Marykate leaning away from power pop a little into a full use of her singer/songwriter talents. “Easy To Believe at First” you hear a gentle Carole King vibe until the chorus explodes with melodic optimism and cool harmonies. “Saved” is another great song with some excellent lyrics about being proselytized. This formula also shows up on the dynamic and poignant “Mr. Friedman.” Then Marykate embraces her inner Joni Mitchell on the folkie ballads “Me, The Bee, The Miner” and the title track “Underground.” The latter track really shines and uses Marykate’s expressive vocal range. Lest we forget, we want some cool pop too, so we get a stellar cover of Joe Jackson’s “Different for Girls” and the bouncy fun of “One Thousand Times A Day.” The coda is the fitting “So Long” with a smooth melody and some nice slide guitar work. Overall a more mature direction that benefits the fans of Marykate for the better. Unfortunately, you will need to wait until February for this one. And yes it’s worth the wait, I will update the links at that time.