Caffeine Superstar

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On this, Magnet's fourth album, the pop edges have been worn down, tempos slowed, and a beautiful melancholy set in place. Perhaps the track "Slow Dive" indicates the root of this change -- the album is certainly more Neil Halstead than it is David Lowery, the Cracker/Camper Van Beethoven genius behind Magnet's last album, Shark Bait. The upbeat "I See" captures that shimmering sadness of Velvet Underground outtakes where Reed's voice is more fragility than gritty urban guru. The only real miss on the album is "I Wanna Be Sedated," the Ramones classic put through the alt-country grinder until the request was met and somehow unacknowledged.

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