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 V.17 No.52 | December 25 - 31, 2008 

Sonic Reducer

Fall Out Boy Folie Deux (Island Records)

Fall Out Boy’s fourth album aims to push Britney Spears’ For the Record docu-mercial out of people's minds and give ears something slightly more valuable. Monstrously trendy Pete Wentz and the other guys of Fall Out Boy are sticking with their trademark catchy, fast-paced choruses and occasional clapping--which will certainly please some listeners and leave others wanting more. The surrealities of Hollywood are tossed into the album with smirking lines like “detox just to re-tox” from “Disloyal Order of Water Buffaloes.” If you think “I Don’t Care” will be Fall Out Boy’s only hit off this record, you will be sadly mistaken. (TA)

School of Seven Bells Alpinisms (Ghostly Int'l)

[ MP3 Preview ]

Like a cold but cloudless day, School of Seven Bells' psychedelic electro-sugar rush is deceptively frigid. Duel-lead female vocals float across a skyscape of synths and reverb-loaded guitar. Twin sisters Alejandra and Claudia Deheza utter the lyrics as though they were cult chants. Occasionally the vocals are distracting, but their sterile beauty is oddly irresistible. Alpinisms sounds like something you might hear careening off the walls of an opium den--and that's meant as a compliment. It has an unsteady glee that keeps the ground shaking underfoot and hints at something more nefarious. (SM)

Musiq Soulchild OnMyRadio (Atlantic Records)

[ MP3 Preview ]

He first tasted fame when the term "neo-soul" was cashing in at the turn of the century, and now Musiq Soulchild is sliding back into the spotlight. For the most part, every track is Auto-Tune-free and inflated with matters of the heart. But OnMyRadio doesn't seem to have a definitive single, and although the album features Mary J. Blige and Damian Marley, it lacks luster. At the very least OnMyRadio is butter-smooth and speaks to a time when modern R&B and soul had substance. (JH)

(SM) Simon McCormack, (TA) Tiffany Alberty, (JH) Justin Hood


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