following the little-girl-lost

Drinking Watermelon Sugar (Pound )

By Kory Wilcoxson

What Liz Phair does for sexual independence, Tara VanDevender does for sweet innocence.

VanDevender is the lead singer of Snapdragon, a band that specializes in homespun folksy rock punctuated by VanDevender's thoughtful lyrics.

VanDevender draws from the past for her inspiration. The album's first song, "Superhero's Club," talks about super powers and X-ray vision as created by a child's imagination on a lazy Sunday afternoon. Other songs speak in that same kind of endearingly naive tongue.

Snapdragon is not without its humor. "Farrah Fawcett" is an ode to the platinum pinup of the '70s, in which VanDevender promises to "cut my hair in feather layers so it does just what it's told." The next track, "Matthew Sweet," is a love letter to the jangly pop icon and it mixes the charm of a schoolgirl crush with the seduction of a flirty tease. Matthew, give this girl a call!!

The rest of Snapdragon – Mike Kenerley, Jamie Hoover, Dave Burris, Didier Rubio, Brenda Gambill, John Crooke and Dave Swanagin all contribute to at least one song — are solid, but they know when to sit back and let VanDevender release her little-girl-lost voice. She is hard to resist.