Kickin' 'bot - Page 2

Get ready for the major-label pre-holiday blitz
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Somebody told the Sin City band they had to drop that Broooce crush that made them look like the girlfriends they had in February 1983. It's not confidential. They've got potential, so they mixed touches of anthemic melody lines, glockenspiel, and sax appeal with more nods to the dance-pop crowd (the cringe-inducing "Joy Ride"). These new-new rock romantics want to have their epics (thundering "A Dustland Fairytale") and eat, too (U2-y pop hit "Human").

Alternative: Look for further throw-away kicks from English-New Zealand trash pleash Ladyhawke — not to be confused with stateside indie vets Ladyhawk — and her weird combo of DIY-rock trappings (the new self-titled Modular/Interscope CD sports rough sketches of a head-banded hipster chick and kittens) and slick electro-pop odes to lovers jetting over the Atlantic, whizzing synth details, and artificial hand claps.

DAVID BYRNE AND BRIAN ENO, EVERYTHING THAT HAPPENS WILL HAPPEN TODAY (SELF-RELEASED)

Waxy critical buildup: a quiet storm has been building among graying '80s-era fans and young 'uns cognizant of the renewed relevance of the pair's Talking Heads work and their last co-written full-length, My Life in the Bush of Ghosts (Sire, 1981).

Micro-Reviewbot's "I Am ... Fierce" take: the ironic-naïf act is wearing thin. Micro-Reviewbot wants to like Everything, but finds its attention consistently drifting, mid-listen. Likely the best Byrne album in years, though the promise of bitingly ironic opener "Home" and the C&W-laced "My Big Nurse" soon degenerates with obvious Radiohead dig, "I Feel My Stuff," a jab at the crit darlings' chilly electronic bricolage, which goes terribly wrong in a Midnite Vultures-style Pro-Tools-is-crack kind of way. Except Midnite Vultures is actually more listenable. Sonically songs like "Everything That Happens" are lovely — scattered with plangent piano tinkles and aquatic guitar lines — but perhaps it's too much to ask elders like Byrne and Eno to eschew the non-Viagra-like sax and trudging tempos on tunes such as "Life Is Long" and find some genuine energy.

Alternative: Shhh, how about giving Micro-Reviewbot a little quiet digestion time for a change? *

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