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Who said pop was dead? Mexico's Volovan obviously doesn't think so. Their self-titled album oozes pop, but more of the Eric Matthews or Cardinal school than anything else. Gliding harmonies, airy changes, and hanging Fender Rhodes chords keep the music suspended above the ground, and on "Violines" they add some wonderfully luscious strings into the mix. Of course, they don't ignore guitars, but rather than propelling the songs, they become part of the overall fabric. Thankfully, the record isn't over-produced into slickness, which could easily have been the case, and the ragged edges make it all the more appealing. Spanish lyrics add a little mystery for gringo audiences. It might not set the world on fire, but it's a strong start for a band who could go places in the future (and keep listening at the end for the hidden track).

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