Lenka

Lenka

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Those looking to satisfy a sweet-toothed craving for pop music should sink their teeth into this debut, which introduces Lenka as one of 2008's strongest newcomers. Horns, cellos, violas, keyboards, and vibraphones share equal space here, creating a sound that's at once lushly elegant and bubbly commercial. Having already cut her teeth with the Decoder Ring, Lenka now asserts herself as a competent vocalist and songwriter, penning three of the album's tracks while co-writing the remaining eight. "The Show," "Bring Me Down," and "Trouble Is a Friend" all brim with the cleverly crafted hooks of a Max Martin composition, and Lenka's fondness for internal rhyme helps tighten her phrases into concentrated balls of pop melody. The results are pure radio gold, perhaps alarmingly so, but Lenka's voice helps bring a sense of playfulness to what might otherwise be an exercise in all too perfect pop music. Singing in her endearing Australian accent, she shifts between the breathy sighs of "Don't Let Me Fall" and the measured, innocent confidence of "Like a Song." Quiet piano chords and a sparse trumpet riff provide the instrumental backing for the latter tune, and "Like a Song" shows that Lenka still shines when the thick instrumental padding is stripped away, making this candy-coated debut that much sweeter.

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