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click to enlarge Train  - For Me, Its You  - Columbia	   -  - You almost have to blame the Counting Crows for the - likes of Train. Take the Crows August and Everything - After, subtract two of its hits and two of its better album - cuts, and you have the four-album career of Train. On - For Me, Its You, the pop-rock outfit stays true to its past - recipe for success: schmaltzy yet insidiously catchy - melodies (Drops of Jupiter and Calling All Angels) that - dont necessarily inspire. Desperation is the key to this - 12-track release, which finds the members of Train - trying too hard to make All I Ever Wanted into an - anthemic fan favorite, or getting too sentimental on - Cab. Congrats to Train, which, thanks to the Crows - struggle with lyrics, is getting closer to surpassing the - Mr. Jones band on the banality meter.  John Benson
  • Train
    For Me, Its You
    Columbia

    You almost have to blame the Counting Crows for the likes of Train. Take the Crows August and Everything After, subtract two of its hits and two of its better album cuts, and you have the four-album career of Train. On For Me, Its You, the pop-rock outfit stays true to its past recipe for success: schmaltzy yet insidiously catchy melodies (Drops of Jupiter and Calling All Angels) that dont necessarily inspire. Desperation is the key to this 12-track release, which finds the members of Train trying too hard to make All I Ever Wanted into an anthemic fan favorite, or getting too sentimental on Cab. Congrats to Train, which, thanks to the Crows struggle with lyrics, is getting closer to surpassing the Mr. Jones band on the banality meter. John Benson

click to enlarge Make Up  - Untouchable Sound  - Sea Note   - In high school, I nursed a massive crush on Ian - Svenonius, then-singer for D.C. punk group Nation of - Ulysses. Since then, Ive always had a soft spot for - whatever band hes with. One of them is Make Up, a - retro outfit that preached their brand of Gospel Yeh- - Yeh years before The Hives wiggled into the American - conscious. Untouchable Sound is a live album that - manages to completely miscarry their energy. Sure, Ians - still screaming his little white-boy soul out, and his - crowd interaction is great, but the production is paltry, - and classic songs like They Live By Night and White - Belts sadly turn anemic. Youre better off grabbing - Destination  Love Live! At Cold Rice, Make Ups - pseudo-live album.  Kara Luger
  • Make Up
    Untouchable Sound
    Sea Note
    In high school, I nursed a massive crush on Ian Svenonius, then-singer for D.C. punk group Nation of Ulysses. Since then, Ive always had a soft spot for whatever band hes with. One of them is Make Up, a retro outfit that preached their brand of Gospel Yeh- Yeh years before The Hives wiggled into the American conscious. Untouchable Sound is a live album that manages to completely miscarry their energy. Sure, Ians still screaming his little white-boy soul out, and his crowd interaction is great, but the production is paltry, and classic songs like They Live By Night and White Belts sadly turn anemic. Youre better off grabbing Destination Love Live! At Cold Rice, Make Ups pseudo-live album. Kara Luger
click to enlarge Cat Power   - The Greatest  - Matador   - Pick up any rock mag these days and youll find love - letters detailing the musical charm and grace of Chan - Marshall (aka Cat Power). Dont get me wrong  this - indie rock singer-songwriter has been one of the more - underrated and underexposed artists of the past five - years. Still, no matter how creative or beguiling an artist - has been in the past, they shouldnt get a free pass to - the present. And its for this reason that The Greatest is - far from her greatest or the greatest. Marshalls strong - suit is melding soft-spoken vocals with slightly oblique - rhythms and alluring melodies. While this formula is - present here, an overwhelming sense of transcendence - seems to be missing. Perhaps thats asking for a lot, but - considering Marshalls past is filled with awe-inspiring - moments, anything less is just, well, decidedly not the - greatest.  John Benson
  • Cat Power
    The Greatest
    Matador
    Pick up any rock mag these days and youll find love letters detailing the musical charm and grace of Chan Marshall (aka Cat Power). Dont get me wrong this indie rock singer-songwriter has been one of the more underrated and underexposed artists of the past five years. Still, no matter how creative or beguiling an artist has been in the past, they shouldnt get a free pass to the present. And its for this reason that The Greatest is far from her greatest or the greatest. Marshalls strong suit is melding soft-spoken vocals with slightly oblique rhythms and alluring melodies. While this formula is present here, an overwhelming sense of transcendence seems to be missing. Perhaps thats asking for a lot, but considering Marshalls past is filled with awe-inspiring moments, anything less is just, well, decidedly not the greatest. John Benson

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