The Starlight Mints continue with their sweet indie pop for Built on Squares and carefully dodge those constant comparisons to the Flaming Lips for a funky second album. Classic string arrangements and cheeky boyish vocals are in place as they were on the band's quirky debut Dream That Stuff Was Made Of, but they've turned the system up for a glossy, fresh studio sound.
From the space rock, Rasputina-like cello bits on "Goldstar" to the animated Latin pop party of "Buena Vista," the Starlight Mints' feel-good vibe is right on. "Brass Digger" shimmies with an acoustic guitar/trumpet mix whereas "Zillion Eyes" sticks with that Bowie-esque appeal, circa "Ashes to Ashes." Built on Squares in a literal sense takes on a life of its own, highlighting a compact, dense place. The Starlight Mints weren't excessively ambitious in the studio and the coolness of Built on Squares makes for a pleasant listen while capturing a band in the making.