A Place in the Sun

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Their first major-label release (for RCA) sees California rockers Lit mellow the grunge-lite-punk-metal assault of their first two albums in favor of airbrushed, radio-friendly power pop. The result is an album that is sonically more focused, but it also unfortunately makes the band sound like replicas of a dozen of their post-grunge contemporaries: neither Better Than Ezra or Less Than Jake. There's very little on this album that hadn't been done to death by 1994 -- the buzzing guitars, the whiny, singsong vocals. After a point, everything on A Place in the Sun just folds into a monochromatic, sub-Goo Goo Dolls blur. Lyrically, the Popoff brothers have a way with words, but there's only so much ironic angst and clever self-deprecation you can take at one go. And while the playing is tight and crisp, it is mostly too one-dimensional and by the book to evoke more than feelings of deja vu. Just a couple of songs stand out: "Miserable" brings vocalist Jay Popoff's Elvis Costello impression to the fore and "Quicksand" sparkles briefly. The rest of the time, Lit is merely joining the dots.

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