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The Gutter Twins Saturnalia
Sub Pop
Sounds like: New millennium alt-rock

Short take: '90s players inspired in Gutter

There's a decidedly dark edge to be explored within the alluring guitars and haunting keys of Saturnalia, a debut collaboration between longtime friends Greg Dulli (Afghan Whigs, Twilight Singers) and Mark Lanegan (Screaming Trees, Queens of the Stone Age). Unlike any album Dulli's previously created, this 12-track effort mixes louder guitar rock ("God's Children") motifs with alternative rock song structures ("Seven Stories Underground") both of which fall right in line with Lanegan's past. The cornerstone is "Front Street," delivered in such a maniacal fashion, you could picture a smiling Michael Madsen singing it before cutting off someone's ear. Saturnalia might not catapult Dulli and Lanegan into the spotlight, but the album remains noteworthy nevertheless. John Benson


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Elvis Costello This Year's Model Deluxe Edition
Hip-O Records
Sounds like: A 30-year-old album now with live stuff!

Short take: Soaking the Baby Boomers

This masterpiece yielded the stadium anthem "Pump It Up," the frenetic "No Action" and the anti-establishment "Radio, Radio." But Rhino Records threw this party a scant five years ago, with a reissue containing much of the material included in this "deluxe" package. If you're a kid who thinks the guy on the album cover is stealing Rivers Cuomo's look, and you've never heard "Less Than Zero" or "Watching the Detectives" performed live (as on Disc 2) by a young Costello, Deluxe Edition may be a sound buy. However, if you're a fan who believes it's worth buying a reupholstered version of an album that's spoken well enough on its own for three decades, there's an "investment opportunities" e-mail going around from a fellow in Nigeria that may interest you. Jason Notte


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Goldfrapp Seventh Tree
Mute
Sounds like: VH1's morning showcase

Short take: Great electro-rockers abandon their talents

Britain's Goldfrapp has jettisoned its glam-rock beats and sultry bass throbs on Seventh Tree. Instead, this electro-pop duo is rocking out to more folksy, ambient tunes. Unfortunately, there's a lack of anything really groovy on this, Goldfrapp's fourth album, regardless of whether you prefer grooving in a sun-splashed meadow or a filthy dance club. Alison Goldfrapp doesn't sound at all like the sinister, oversexed. weird pop anomaly she is; instead, she comes off like Sarah McLachlan or any VH1 usual. In small doses, Seventh Tree can be sweet, even enchanting (see the lead single, "A&E"), but without a contrast of rougher, louder songs, this album imitates itself out of distinction, a nice but entirely forgettable blur. Matt Martin

  • The Gutter Twins, Elvis Costello, Goldfrapp

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