Bossanova

Hey Sugar

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    7
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It took Chris Storrow all of nine years to craft a full-length album as Bossanova, after several EPs and compilation tracks, but if anyone was afraid the results would be some sort of overcooked indie pop answer to Chinese Democracy, fear not -- Hey Sugar is fresh and spontaneous sounding stuff, with its synthesizer lines clean and gleaming and the beats infectiously propulsive whether they're emulating vintage disco or Merseybeat. While not everything on Hey Sugar is dance material -- the moody confessional of "It Felt Like a Weight" and the appropriately named "Lullaby" certainly don't qualify -- the lion's share of the disc gets its groove on in a pleasing variety of styles, from the sensuous sway of "Blue Bossanova" and the cool Euro-disco pulse of "Rare Brazil" to the glam rock accents of "I'll Leave of My Heart" and the keyboard-accented pop/rock of "Calvary." Storrow and his varied collaborators manage to give this set a unified feel while allowing each song to have a personality of its own, and his knack for pop melodies of all stripes is commendable. As a lyricist, Storrow isn't quite as distinctive, and on some songs the vocals are pushed deep enough into the mix to suggest that he knows it, but this doesn't affect the craft of the music or the fact his gift with melodies confirms he should strive to make albums a lot more often. Not every musician has the maturity of vision on their first full album that Bossanova can claim on Hey Sugar, which suggests waiting until the time is right has definite advantages.

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