Letters to Cleo

Aurora Gory Alice

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    8
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Spirited and warm pop songs populate the full-length debut of Letters to Cleo. Like fellow Bostonian Juliana Hatfield, Letters pull off simple, cute pop hooks with a powerful rock band approach. On Aurora Gory Alice, however, restraint is the name of the game, and it comes off as a somewhat flawed but ultimately endearing record. Crooner Kay Hanley dexterously adapts her versatile vocals to fit the band's varying dynamics. Letters' debut single, "I See," is reprised for the album, but its big sales draw ended up being the speedy chorus of "Here and Now," a hit off the Melrose Place soundtrack a year after Aurora's release. Other notable tunes include the curious "From Under the Dust" and acoustic closer "Step Back."

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