After two years of waiting, I finally have a new record from Eleni Mandell. I first listened to this disc with a combination of excitement and dread. I was excited to hear new material from one of the most intriguing singer/songwriters I have ever heard, yet I was reminded of far too many sophomore efforts that were perplexing awful in the light of the quality of the previous effort. From the opening bars of “Pauline,” I was hooked, and any doubts about Thrill vaporized. By the time “Giving Up the Fight” had ended, I was anxiously awaiting Mandell’s next album. Her songs are smart, sexy, and utterly captivating. Mandell’s songs are scary good, and her voice fits them perfectly. She also has a great sense about her arrangements, which make good use of very diverse instrumentation without ever sounding cluttered. With Thrill, Mandell has created a world filled with the danger and mystery akin to Film Noir. Her songs evoke images of femme fatales like Veronica Lake, Barbara Stanwyck, and Gaby Rodgers, and like Fred MacMurray or Edmond O’Brien, I would willingly follow her to my doom.