Hothouse Flowers

Born

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Five years after delivering Songs from the Rain, Hothouse Flowers returned from a self-imposed exile with Born. During their time off, Liam O'Maonlai had a side-project with Tim Finn called ALT, but that group's boozy charm is nowhere to be heard on Born. Instead, the group has scaled back, losing saxophonist Leo Barnes and drummer Jerry Fehily, and crafted a solid record quite similar to their Van Springsteen early records. They take an ill-advised stab at post-grunge, but the remainder of the album proves that they're at their best when they stick to the familiar, and while they offer no new revelations, Born nevertheless finds the group coming back to life with panache.

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