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Fiery Furnaces   -  - Rehearsing My Choir  -  - Rough Trade Fiery Furnaces' brother-sister duo - really never has been concerned with scoring Top 10 - radio hits. Their brand of experimental, sometimes- - folky, sometimes-just-way-out-there rock has earned - them legions of fans and plenty of critical acclaim, but - they'll never be embraced by Casey Kasem. Enter - Rehearsing My Choir, in which the siblings bring - their 83-year-old grandmother, Olga Sarantos, to the - mix. Singer Eleanor Friedberger's usually a force to be - reckoned with, but Lordy, Grandma steals the show with - her over-the-top theatrics. Tracks like "The Wayward - Granddaughter" function as small operettas, with - storytelling on a grand scale backed by music that runs - anywhere from edgy dance beats to sparse guitar and - hints of Greek traditionals. An odd one to be sure, but - absolutely fascinating. -- Kara Luger Deux Process  -
  • Fiery Furnaces

    Rehearsing My Choir
    Rough Trade

    Fiery Furnaces' brother-sister duo really never has been concerned with scoring Top 10 radio hits. Their brand of experimental, sometimes- folky, sometimes-just-way-out-there rock has earned them legions of fans and plenty of critical acclaim, but they'll never be embraced by Casey Kasem. Enter Rehearsing My Choir, in which the siblings bring their 83-year-old grandmother, Olga Sarantos, to the mix. Singer Eleanor Friedberger's usually a force to be reckoned with, but Lordy, Grandma steals the show with her over-the-top theatrics. Tracks like "The Wayward Granddaughter" function as small operettas, with storytelling on a grand scale backed by music that runs anywhere from edgy dance beats to sparse guitar and hints of Greek traditionals. An odd one to be sure, but absolutely fascinating. -- Kara Luger Deux Process

In Deux Time   - Avatar / Release date: Jan. 10 Usually the - exodus is from California to Colorado, not the - other way around. Still, if you're a hip-hop artist trying - to make it big, C. Springs probably isn't the most likely - launching pad. So Springs natives Vise Versa and Chief - Nek made their way to L.A., and with turntablist Shawn - Dubb, formed Deux Process. Their first full-length - album, In Deux Time, is the product of - their endeavors, and a decent one at that. Working a - laid-back style that's engineered to make you shake any - number of "thangs," the boys make "Everyday" and the - funky piano loop from their title track seem nearly - nostalgic. DP isn't breaking any new ground here, and - some of their songs sound a bit derivative, but in the - end, the disc is a good forecast of better things to come. - -- Kara Luger
  • In Deux Time
    Avatar / Release date: Jan. 10

    Usually the exodus is from California to Colorado, not the other way around. Still, if you're a hip-hop artist trying to make it big, C. Springs probably isn't the most likely launching pad. So Springs natives Vise Versa and Chief Nek made their way to L.A., and with turntablist Shawn Dubb, formed Deux Process. Their first full-length album, In Deux Time, is the product of their endeavors, and a decent one at that. Working a laid-back style that's engineered to make you shake any number of "thangs," the boys make "Everyday" and the funky piano loop from their title track seem nearly nostalgic. DP isn't breaking any new ground here, and some of their songs sound a bit derivative, but in the end, the disc is a good forecast of better things to come. -- Kara Luger

Speech  -  - The Vagabond  - Blu Hammock Music If you're looking for the - Speech of yore, the socially conscious rapper who - fronted Arrested Development and waxed on about Mr. - Wendal, look no further. If you're looking for music that - sounds like AD's albums, then bed down for the night, - Cowboy. While Speech still is smart and charming, his - solo album, The Vagabond, doesn't have - anything new to say. In fact, he sort of gets on the - treadmill of a couple of classic AD themes -- love and - God -- and sticks steadfastly to them. Even his delivery - is the same, though the earthiness of his former band - has been replaced by a ho-hum mix of soul, hip-hop - and funk. One of the album's few standouts, "Braided - Hair," features Neneh Cherry, who really should stage a - comeback. -- Kara Luger
  • Speech

    The Vagabond
    Blu Hammock Music

    If you're looking for the Speech of yore, the socially conscious rapper who fronted Arrested Development and waxed on about Mr. Wendal, look no further. If you're looking for music that sounds like AD's albums, then bed down for the night, Cowboy. While Speech still is smart and charming, his solo album, The Vagabond, doesn't have anything new to say. In fact, he sort of gets on the treadmill of a couple of classic AD themes -- love and God -- and sticks steadfastly to them. Even his delivery is the same, though the earthiness of his former band has been replaced by a ho-hum mix of soul, hip-hop and funk. One of the album's few standouts, "Braided Hair," features Neneh Cherry, who really should stage a comeback. -- Kara Luger

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