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Boomkat Product Review:
The Decline Of Female Happiness is the sixth Donna Regina album for Karaoke Kalk and (by my count at least) their eleventh in all, arriving twenty years after the duo's first published recordings. Over these years husband and wife team Regina and Gunther Janssen have refined their own corner of the pop universe, penning unassuming yet often heartbreaking little pop productions fronted by Regina's infinitely melancholy voice. The new album arrives with a like an old friend with a new haircut, delivering all you'd hope from a Donna Regina record while sprucing up the sound slightly. 'Perfect Stranger' is typical of this band's all too overlooked career, stealthily fashioning an understated, immaculate pop moment that slips by into another - in this case the wonderful minimal ballad, 'Tied To Your Ship'. Continuing this strong mid-album sequence, 'Lost Sunday' is more optimistic than most Donna Regina songs, latching onto a verse that brings to mind classic '70s AOR songwriting. In grittier moments, 'Vague' slips into a chugging blues mantra held together by the most reduced-down of twanging low end guitar riffs and a crunching handclap, offering an antidote to the affectionate, twinkling diversions offered by something like 'For Good Again', which breezes through xylophone melodies and synth string chords, reprising one of the record's earliest highlights, 'Until You Do'. Another beautifully crafted pop album from Donna Regina then, and it's certainly one that's easy to recommend to fans both old and new.