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click to enlarge The Cribs  - Men's Needs, Women's Needs, - Whatever  -  -  - Warner Bros.  -  - Sounds like: A British, post-punk Offspring -  - Short take: Kinda awesome. For now. -  - On The Cribs' third album, Men's Needs, Women's - Needs, Whatever, the three-piece set from England - brings the same heat that music critics have come to - expect from the U.K. of late (Amy Winehouse, Lily Allen, - Art Brut, the list goes on ... ). Standout tracks include the - pulsing, shimmy-inspiring opener "Our Bovine Public," - the desperate, foot-tapping "Men's Needs" and the - sung-spoke, Nada Surf "Popular"-esque anthem "Be - Safe." There ain't a snoozer on the album, but the whole - act does seem a tad repetitive. Haven't we heard - this before? Kind of  Franz Ferdinand frontman Alex - Kapranos produced this Cribs disc, and you can - definitely tell. It begs the question: Is this - release the exclamation point on the U.K. sound  or - just an ellipsis? We'll see. But, for now, The Cribs do their - countrymen proud.   Pete Freedman
  • The Cribs

    Men's Needs, Women's Needs, Whatever

    Warner Bros.

    Sounds like: A British, post-punk Offspring

    Short take: Kinda awesome. For now.

    On The Cribs' third album, Men's Needs, Women's Needs, Whatever, the three-piece set from England brings the same heat that music critics have come to expect from the U.K. of late (Amy Winehouse, Lily Allen, Art Brut, the list goes on ... ). Standout tracks include the pulsing, shimmy-inspiring opener "Our Bovine Public," the desperate, foot-tapping "Men's Needs" and the sung-spoke, Nada Surf "Popular"-esque anthem "Be Safe." There ain't a snoozer on the album, but the whole act does seem a tad repetitive. Haven't we heard this before? Kind of Franz Ferdinand frontman Alex Kapranos produced this Cribs disc, and you can definitely tell. It begs the question: Is this release the exclamation point on the U.K. sound or just an ellipsis? We'll see. But, for now, The Cribs do their countrymen proud. Pete Freedman

click to enlarge Prince  - Planet Earth  -  -  - Sony  -  - Sounds like: Smooth R&B mixed with '80s - Prince -  - Short take: Lowered expectations yield Prince - cream -  - Nearly 30 years into his recording career, Prince's best - days are behind him. Still, Prince lovers need to be at - peace with the realization that two gems (three, tops) - from the great Purple One are the deciding factor - between a clunker and a decent album. As for his latest, - Planet Earth, the Minneapolis native re-teams - with Revolution band mates Wendy & Lisa for above- - average results. "The One U Wanna C" is a catchy track - that harkens to Prince's '80s vibe, while the aptly titled - "Guitar," which features an opening lick that is really - reminiscent of Linkin Park's single "Bleed it Out," reminds - the world who's still the baddest guitarist around. A - living legend, Prince still has the chops and vision, but - seemingly takes pride in not fully divulging his potential. -   John Benson
  • Prince

    Planet Earth

    Sony

    Sounds like: Smooth R&B mixed with '80s Prince

    Short take: Lowered expectations yield Prince cream

    Nearly 30 years into his recording career, Prince's best days are behind him. Still, Prince lovers need to be at peace with the realization that two gems (three, tops) from the great Purple One are the deciding factor between a clunker and a decent album. As for his latest, Planet Earth, the Minneapolis native re-teams with Revolution band mates Wendy & Lisa for above- average results. "The One U Wanna C" is a catchy track that harkens to Prince's '80s vibe, while the aptly titled "Guitar," which features an opening lick that is really reminiscent of Linkin Park's single "Bleed it Out," reminds the world who's still the baddest guitarist around. A living legend, Prince still has the chops and vision, but seemingly takes pride in not fully divulging his potential. John Benson

click to enlarge Interpol  - Our Love to Admire  -  -  - Capitol  -  - Sounds like: Joy Division on Ritalin -  - Short take: Former specters revealed in harsh - light -  - Interpol's fame has always been curious, as the band has - forever been one polygonal haircut away from being - goth. On Our Love to Admire, they clean things - up and fly right  musically, at least  crafting a fairly - straightforward pastiche of their contemporaries' distinct - riffs and definite melodies. But it doesn't suit them well: - Singer Paul Banks sounded best when he was - caterwauling indiscernibly under his band's triumphal - dirges. Now that he's suddenly comprehensible, it comes - off as almost farcical, scolding young things for their - phoniness or trying to coax young things into mnages - trois. Interpol works best draped in mystery, when the - songs are big sonic fogs and compelling for their - unknowability. Our Love to Admire certainly has - some decent songs, but they're not the right songs for - this band.  Matt Martin -
  • Interpol

    Our Love to Admire

    Capitol

    Sounds like: Joy Division on Ritalin

    Short take: Former specters revealed in harsh light

    Interpol's fame has always been curious, as the band has forever been one polygonal haircut away from being goth. On Our Love to Admire, they clean things up and fly right musically, at least crafting a fairly straightforward pastiche of their contemporaries' distinct riffs and definite melodies. But it doesn't suit them well: Singer Paul Banks sounded best when he was caterwauling indiscernibly under his band's triumphal dirges. Now that he's suddenly comprehensible, it comes off as almost farcical, scolding young things for their phoniness or trying to coax young things into mnages trois. Interpol works best draped in mystery, when the songs are big sonic fogs and compelling for their unknowability. Our Love to Admire certainly has some decent songs, but they're not the right songs for this band. Matt Martin

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