Secret Swingers

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The addition of second guitarist James Baluyut brings a new, more intricate dimension to the Versus sound on Secret Swingers, a superbly textured set more consistent and eclectic than anything else the band has done to date. While the Deep Red EP suggested that Versus had painted itself into a songwriting corner, each track here -- from the taut "Glitter of Love" to the shimmering "Jealous" -- sounds fresh and invigorated. Additionally, the group has learned the value of subtlety: the ethereal "One Million" is lovely, while "Ghost Story" achieves the haunting atmosphere promised by its title. Better still is the majestic "Angels Rush In," in which the point/counterpoint vocals of Richard Baluyut and Fontaine Toups stand firm against a slow-building but ultimately monolithic sound.

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