Various Artists

Cafe Bleu [Modern World/Caroline]

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In spite of the fact that there are very few recognizable names on the Modern World sampler Cafe Bleu, it's actually a surprisingly strong listen, largely composed of power-pop-tinged alternative rock reminiscent of that sound's early-'90s heyday, when artists like Matthew Sweet, the Lemonheads, and Juliana Hatfield were enjoying substantial exposure. While there are a few misses, they don't detract much from the overall picture; most of the bands here definitely have a way with a melody, and hopefully this sampler is only the first we'll hear from them.

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