Kleenex Girl Wonder

After Mathematics

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Kleenex Girl Wonder's Graham Smith once dubbed himself "The coolest person alive," but with the release of After Mathematics, he now seems little more than a lame Beck wannabe, and there's nothing particularly cool about that. Although the mock braggadocio of cuts like "That's Why I Write Such Good Songs" suggests this mishmash of jokey lyrics, tired melodies, and half-assed hip-hop beats is entirely tongue-in-cheek, that doesn't make it any more listenable. Smith is plainly in an unenviable position -- still barely into his twenties, he has already delivered a series of smart, well-received indie-pop efforts, and now faces the dilemma of recycling past glories or forging new directions. Give him credit for attempting the latter, but that doesn't make After Mathematics any more palatable.

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