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Liner Notes: CD Reviews

 published on Thursday, September 15, 2005

<strong>The Ditty Bops
<em>The Ditty Bops</em>
(Warner Bros.)</strong>/issues/arts/693831
The Ditty Bops The Ditty Bops (Warner Bros.)
 
<strong>Criteria
<em>When We Break</em> 
(Saddle Creek)</strong>/issues/arts/693831
Criteria When We Break (Saddle Creek)
 

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The Ditty Bops
The Ditty Bops
(Warner Bros.)


4 out of 5 stars

The members of the Ditty Bops are the type of people who thank "our beautiful planet Earth" first and foremost in their liner notes. The nature enthusiasts are Amanda and Abby, two magical creatures with voices sweet enough to rot your teeth. Their self-titled debut album sounds like a children's version of vaudeville, complete with harmonized vocals and upbeat staccato rhythms. The Ditty Bops is the kind of band you just want to keep in your pocket until you need a shot of optimism with a splash of whimsical. There are several tunes, however, such as "Short Stacks," that pack a slightly darker punch. On a side note, this record receives the gold medal for best use of a mandolin, banjo and ukulele.

-By adriane.goetz@asu.edu

Criteria
When We Break
(Saddle Creek)


1 and a half stars

The thing that used to be great about indie music is that no two bands ever sounded the same. With its second release on Saddle Creek, Criteria manages to musically reinforce the notion that this is no longer true. Led by Steven Pedersen, formerly of Cursive, Criteria has perfectly produced, rather, reproduced the sound of emo-indie rock monotony. Although Criteria exhibits competency of standard material with on-key vocals and effective harmonies, the album severely lacks innovative musicianship. Lyrically, Pedersen avoids using cliches, but still sounds generic, and despite uncommon time signatures throughout the album, most of the songs have the same chugging and pinging guitar riffs. If you like music that doesn't require much thinking, then When We Break is the album for you.

- By heleit.hackett@asu.edu

Pokafase
Pokafase


Pokafase's deep voice is smooth, his words spill clearly throughout his self-titled album Pokafase. The boom-boom beats backed by electronic instrumentals are catchy, the type that you can bob your head to, but are not unusual or ground-breaking. Lyrics are backed by female vocals or a low, rumbling voice that seems to touch your inner core. Overall, it's a very likable album.



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