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click to enlarge Rilo Kiley  - Under the Blacklight  -  -  - Warner Bros.  -  - Sounds like: The Jenny Lewis Show -  - Short take: Music for a gray, rainy morning -  - The tone for Rilo Kiley's fourth release, Under the - Blacklight, is set in the opening guitar notes of the - first track, "Silver Lining." Here, it becomes clear that - we're in for a deliberate, familiar melodic sound. And - that's the beauty of it: Jenny Lewis, Blake Sennett and - company aren't reinventing the wheel here, they're - refining it. Surely, they took note when reviews of 2004's - More Adventurous lauded the band's letting - Lewis run wild over the other members' backing. On - Blacklight, she gets wholly unleashed. Sennett - only takes the lead on "Dreamworld," a track that, while - decent, doesn't fit in with the rest of the disc. It's not his - fault  few vocalists can keep pace with Lewis, who - shines throughout, but especially on the title track and - the New Wave throwback "Breakin' Up."  Pete - Freedman
  • Rilo Kiley

    Under the Blacklight

    Warner Bros.

    Sounds like: The Jenny Lewis Show

    Short take: Music for a gray, rainy morning

    The tone for Rilo Kiley's fourth release, Under the Blacklight, is set in the opening guitar notes of the first track, "Silver Lining." Here, it becomes clear that we're in for a deliberate, familiar melodic sound. And that's the beauty of it: Jenny Lewis, Blake Sennett and company aren't reinventing the wheel here, they're refining it. Surely, they took note when reviews of 2004's More Adventurous lauded the band's letting Lewis run wild over the other members' backing. On Blacklight, she gets wholly unleashed. Sennett only takes the lead on "Dreamworld," a track that, while decent, doesn't fit in with the rest of the disc. It's not his fault few vocalists can keep pace with Lewis, who shines throughout, but especially on the title track and the New Wave throwback "Breakin' Up." Pete Freedman

click to enlarge Various Artists  - This Is Next: Vol. 1  -  -  - Vice  -  - Sounds like: A 2007 hipster's greatest-hits - compilation -  - Short take: Nothing new? Then why care? -  - CD samplers are dicey. Approach #1: Maybe you don't - know the bands that well, but heck, let's give 'em a try. - Approach #2: You know what you're getting into, as it's - basically a wrap-up of the year's greatest radio hits. - What's frustrating about the inaugural This is Next is that it has so much potential, but falls into the - latter category. Vice carries some great bands  Bloc - Party, Of Montreal, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah  but - instead of issuing previews of upcoming releases, little- - known tracks, or introducing new bands, they choose to - toss together hits that are pretty much old news - sometimes around a year old, as is the case with the - Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Cat Power cuts. Why bother - shelling out for tracks you probably already own? -  Kara Luger
  • Various Artists

    This Is Next: Vol. 1

    Vice

    Sounds like: A 2007 hipster's greatest-hits compilation

    Short take: Nothing new? Then why care?

    CD samplers are dicey. Approach #1: Maybe you don't know the bands that well, but heck, let's give 'em a try. Approach #2: You know what you're getting into, as it's basically a wrap-up of the year's greatest radio hits. What's frustrating about the inaugural This is Next is that it has so much potential, but falls into the latter category. Vice carries some great bands Bloc Party, Of Montreal, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah but instead of issuing previews of upcoming releases, little- known tracks, or introducing new bands, they choose to toss together hits that are pretty much old news sometimes around a year old, as is the case with the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Cat Power cuts. Why bother shelling out for tracks you probably already own? Kara Luger

click to enlarge Simian Mobile Disco  - Attack Decay Sustain Release  -  -  - Interscope   -  - Sounds like: Klaxons for Kids -  - Short take: An irresistible dance-floor dumb- - down -  - Pop music has swung from Inconsiderable to Guilty - Pleasure to Considerable to, now, Necessary. And the - genre's seeing its best treatment in years, with "real" - artists across the board giving in to its bubble-gum glee. - Simian Mobile Disco is actually two esteemed remixers - and producers whose debut, Attack Decay Sustain - Release, is bangingly great by dint of being - unabashedly poppy. Its songs are all kept around three- - and-a-half minutes; guest stars arrive, spout perfectly - inane hooks, are overtaken by tidal waves of flayed - analog synth, then promptly leave. The effect demands - scenesters uncross those righteous arms and bob those - skeptical heads. SMD asks: Why be difficult, when it's so - much more fun to lobotomize yourself?  Matt - Martin
  • Simian Mobile Disco

    Attack Decay Sustain Release

    Interscope

    Sounds like: Klaxons for Kids

    Short take: An irresistible dance-floor dumb- down

    Pop music has swung from Inconsiderable to Guilty Pleasure to Considerable to, now, Necessary. And the genre's seeing its best treatment in years, with "real" artists across the board giving in to its bubble-gum glee. Simian Mobile Disco is actually two esteemed remixers and producers whose debut, Attack Decay Sustain Release, is bangingly great by dint of being unabashedly poppy. Its songs are all kept around three- and-a-half minutes; guest stars arrive, spout perfectly inane hooks, are overtaken by tidal waves of flayed analog synth, then promptly leave. The effect demands scenesters uncross those righteous arms and bob those skeptical heads. SMD asks: Why be difficult, when it's so much more fun to lobotomize yourself? Matt Martin

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