"The way it was sequenced was to tell a total story," says Atkins. "It starts out with this 'We've come to kill you and your family' kind of Beatle doom, and keeps telling this tale that goes between sadness, regret, and anger, and then ends with 'The Tower,' which is the deconstruction of everything. Nothing could come after that song."

Through it all, Atkins manages the difficult feat of keeping the music concentrated on digestible, focused songs, each tailored for an express musical purpose. This is no venting for venting's sake; and the listener should feel a lot more like he or she watched a play than sat in on a therapy session. There is room, after all, to be a little dramatic in the darkness.

NICOLE ATKINS + FOUNTAINS OF WAYNEBrighton Music Hall, 158 Brighton Ave, Allston | August 12 + 13 @ 8 pm | $12 | 18+ | 617.779.0140

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