Rogue Wave Descended Like Vultures (Sub Pop)
With a healthy combination of love and foreboding, the Bay Area's Rogue Wave on their first real studio album claim to have drawn from sources as varied as Fleetwood Mac and My Bloody Valentine, which certainly comes through, devoid of any plagiarism. This album is easy listening (but not in a lite rock way) and good background music; but it also contains an element of art, making it suitable for a variety of people, as long as they don't take offense to ... love.
Ris Paul Ric Purple Blaze (Academy Fight Song)
Unfortunately, Washington, D.C. band Q And Not U broke up this summer. Thankfully, their former singer/guitarist Ris Paul Ric (Christopher Paul Richards) continues to make music. Percussive guitars and his soprano are still there, but Richards has assembled an album that's not so similar to his old band. It's more minimalistic, down-tempo and acoustic. P.S., Ris Paul Ric performs at the Launchpad this Thursday.
t.A.T.u. Dangerous and Moving (Interscope)
If ABBA and Ace of Base bred and produced a horribly ugly child which they left in the woods, it would have become the troglodyte that is t.A.T.u. And don't fool yourselves, all of that homosexual innuendo between the two Russian ladies of t.A.T.u. is only a marketing ploy. They don't actually, you know, do it. And while their slavophone is charming in a way, that doesn't come close to making up for this abomination, not to mention their use of parentheses in three song titles—e.g., "Craving (I Only Want What I Can't Have)." Nyet!