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 V.17 No.1 | January 3 - 9, 2008 

Sonic Reducer

De Novo Dahl Move Every Muscle, Make Every Sound (Roadrunner)

Party-pop is not easy to make and De Novo Dahl's new album proves it. Like its title suggests, Move Every Muscle, Make Every Sound tries to do too many things, attempting to combine bluegrass, alt.rock, electro, psychedelia and power-pop into a small, sugary dose of medicine that's too jagged to swallow. When the band meshes a couple of said genres instead of cramming them all in, there are some successful moments on the record. But too often, De Novo Dahl is in the midst of an identity crisis that a pop backdrop can't cope with. (SM)

Sia Some People Have Real Problems (Hear Music)

This album—with its mellow percussion, occasional bossa nova time signatures, vibraphone implementation and electronic overtones—would be excellent to play at a pool party, in the heat, where people aren't really listening to the music. The band, named after Australian singer Sia Furler, has all manner of interesting, occasionally annoying instrumental tricks up its sleeves, any force of which is diminished by its nasal and somewhat breathy vocalist. For someone who's been at this for a decade, Sia's music feels sadly immature. (JCC)

The Local Tourists Happy Birthday, Kyle (East Drive Records)

Just when you thought the Thanksgiving leftovers were finished off, The Local Tourists offer up Happy Birthday, Kyle. The duo's debut album packs sweeping violin melodies, classical guitar, dynamic chord changes and folk-style lyrics into a pop-rock cornucopia that overflows with an indulgently diverse range of melodies and styles. "The Ballad of Lickey and Diamond" is an epic classic rock tale that unfolds like a children's bedtime story. A few songs later, we get the driving, chord-mashing "Six for a Parlay, Twelve for a Teaser," a piece that would be at home on Broadway. Happy Birthday, Kyle is a feast. (AD)

(SM) Simon McCormack, (JCC) Jessica Cassyle Carr, (AD) Amy Dalness


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