The early 1990s Nickelodeon cartoon series Doug was largely about a preteen daydreamer, Doug Yancy Funny, his imaginary second life and his ongoing crush on a young girl named Patty Mayonnaise. Playfully flirting with this theme, Carlitta Durand and her buddy, M1 Platoon producer Vaughn Garcia, team for The Doug and Patty EP, the follow-up to the seductive Carlitta's Way: The Prelude.
An artist hacking a fun animated television show is problematic business. The derivative work had best be as entertaining as the inspiration, a prospect that could prove especially troubling for an R&B album—in most cases, the goal of which is less about making you laugh and dance, more about inspiring regret and guilt over the inability to sustain a healthy, intimate relationship.
But with a tune like "Lost Love," we hear Durand's voice writhing atop a bed of harp runs and a stream of samples from a mysterious voice, repeating the word "that" until we forget about ruinous love lives and simply fall for the sound in front of us. In Durand's pretend world she can erase heartache, but it's less of a weird habit for her than it is some kind of soul-girl superpower. Aside from some unnecessary and stale skits, like an imagined scene of Doug and Patty appearing on the modern television show Cheaters, we get 32 largely uninterrupted minutes of one of the most jeweled voices in soul music, floating away into yet another field of the imaginative love escapades that Durand has mastered for years now. Nothing pretend about that.
So there's really no reason for naming this project The Doug and Patty EP, but Durand maintains the concept and title are simply part and parcel of her "randomness." Hey, why not name it Homer and Marge, or Popeye and Olive Oyl, or Archie and Betty even? You know, those great, in-love, adult couples?