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Michelle Conte: Lucky Me!

On the exuberant Lucky Me! (Jen Bay), Michelle Conte’s voice, clear as Baccarat crystal, is charged with a Tigger-ish bounciness that suggests Toni Tennille via Sophie Tucker. (She is the sister of Mark Elf, who, as you might expect, lends top-drawer support on guitar). Her delivery, though, particularly on finger-poppin’ selections like “Makin’ Whoopee,” is pure Mary Richards (Mary Tyler Moore’s sunshiny sitcom alter ego). She rides “The Way You Look Tonight” like a midway carousel, fluffy and bright as an Anna Maria Alberghetti salad dressing commercial, and offers up jaunty renditions of “Fly Me to the Moon” and “Suddenly Spring.” It’s all winningly effervescent, until Conte tries to wrestle a weightier lyric. She’s simply too bubbly for somber, shadowy themes. Her “Triste” lacks mystery and her “Lush Life” needs more lush and less life.

Originally Published