As a member of Throwing Muses and Belly, Tanya Donelly established a reputation for arty folk-rock lyrics that are, as the opening song on her debut album puts it, "Pretty Deep." Actually, six feet was the typical depth of the Boston singer-songwriter's musings: Even in her sprightlier songs, death was a recurrent theme. Lovesongs for Underdogs is Donelly's first album as a newlywed, and the music seems a bit brighter. The lyric sheet doesn't bear that out, however.

"I predict/The next meteor to hit/Will be a monster/And I for one/Am looking forward to it," announces the singer on "Mysteries of the Unexplained," one of the albums many meditations on imminent disaster. Until the apocalypse, however, Donelly is content with soaring harmonies and lush arrangements. This is the most consistent album yet from Donelly ... Her intimations of doom are no more convincing, but her musical craft is more profound. -- Mark Jenkins in The Washington Post (11/97)

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