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The Corrs
Talk on Corners

A family effort, this Irish band creates electric modern pop tinged with a traditional Irish sound. Sweet-voiced lead vocalist Andrea delights in her dreamy lyrics. On the shimmering love song "Only When I Sleep," she murmurs, "Your smell is incense burning/Your touch is silken yet/It reaches through my skin/Moving from within." On the troubling "Queen of Hollywood," she sings, "If she saw behind the curtains/It could only make her cry/She's got handprints on her body/Sad moonbeams in her eyes." Andrea takes a risk on the spiteful "I Never Loved You Anyway" and celebrates young love on "So Young." The Corrs give Fleetwood Mac's "Dreams" a dance beat and Jimi Hendrix's "Little Wing" an ancient feel. Overall, the band offers innocuous pop songs about love, but the result is inviting just the same. (Sarah Quelland)

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Vinyl Devotion
Floor Model

Tired of winsome, hummable alternapop? Vinyl Devotion is the perfect alternative. The exhilarating tunes on Floor Model will remind you of happier and more carefree times. The album may have been recorded bicoastally (San Francisco and North Carolina), but it possesses a seamless quality. A girl named Shalini singing sweet and high, guys strumming guitar--and the result is a surfeit of scrumptious sounds. "Never the Weak Link," for instance, twangs and shreds while the drums keep pace. Vinyl Devotion likes wordplay, as "Arriving Late and Going Fast" and "Ms. Surly on a Shopping Spree" suggest. But when Shalini teams up with a Miss Parker (bass) to trill, it doesn't matter what they're singing about. Vinyl Devotion already has the imprimatur of indie god Mitch Easter, who produced the album, which is reason enough to get on the bandwagon while there's still room. (Nicky Baxter)

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Saint Etienne
Good Humor
Sub Pop

After a four-year hiatus, the indie-lounge trip-pop pioneers of Saint Etienne return with Good Humor, an album full of luscious mod lullabies and jazzy laments. Singer Sarah Cracknell's whispery purr is both sweetly earnest and spiked with winking irony, and the music abounds with retro cool--swirling easy-listening melodies, girl-group harmonies and great big disco orchestrations. Especially addictive is the first single, "Sylvie," a sugary Abbaesque anthem about a girl warning her 17-year-old little sister to stay away from her boyfriend. Just one listen to Good Humor is enough to inspire a dreamy afternoon's worth of coy Eurotrash fantasies. (Michelle Goldberg)

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Stuart Davis
Nomen Est Numen
Triad Entertainment

Without exaggeration, Stuart Davis is one of the most fascinating and exceptional songwriters in modern music. His intellectually provocative lyrics compel the listener to contemplate social issues, laugh in shocked surprise and experience fearful apprehension. Influenced more by authors than other musicians, the unusual rocker writes epic songs that have incomparable style and wit. On Nomen Est Numen, Davis explores his disgust with technology ("Progress"), difficulty with platonic relationships ("Female Friend"), violent ancestral ties ("Atavistic Viking"), abuse ("Barbie") and struggles in a stifling society ("Fall Awake"). On "Stephen's Exhibition," he paints a unusual picture of a sexual relationship: "My painter friend is Stephen, I'm screwing his wife Mia/No, it doesn't bother him. In fact it's his idea/You common people try to pass it off as sick behavior/but it's how he gets inspired, I'm doing him a favor." (SQ)

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From the September 3-9, 1998 issue of Metro.

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