Consumer Guide Album
Kate & Anna McGarrigle: Pronto Monto [Warner Bros., 1978]
The blandout of this quiet but piquant duo is being blamed on producer David Nichtern's all-too-steady hand. And sure, I'd prefer tempos that deviated more than five degrees from dead ahead and tasty licks that didn't whisper monosodium glutamate. But I also expect that these tough, smart women consented readily enough to his devices, especially as their own songwriting now aspires to a sweet directness that Nichtern himself is better at (compare his "Just Another Broken Heart" to Anna's "Oh My Heart" or Kate's "Come Back Baby"). And I'll trade you Ann's "Bundle of Sorrow, Bundle of Joy" for the next Maria Muldaur album sound unheard.