The Tigerlillies

Ceci N'Est Pas Pop

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On Ceci N'Est Pas Pop, the Tigerlillies return with more straightforward, likeable indie rock. On songs like "Dead Again," "By Your Side," and "Bitter," the band shows a keen sense of balance, tempering angular guitar hooks with forceful but sweet backing harmonies. The band's less striking material has a tendency to be somewhat samey, but "Kelly Can You See the Stars," "Lovers of Tomorrow," and "Meltaway" are tightly crafted and agreeable enough that it's difficult to complain about them much. The second half of Ceci N'Est Pas Pop rocks a little harder than the pop songs that dominate the first half of the album; "Beautiful One"'s brooding, chugging sound recalls the Smithereens, and indeed, the shiny yet crunchy production on all the songs seems to fit in more with early-'90s alternative rock than with most of the music in the 2000s. The band falters a bit with the annoying "Human Beings" and somewhat faceless songs like "Lover Please"; if the band had trimmed a few songs from Ceci N'Est Pas Pop's 14-song length, it might have been a more consistent album, but there are still enough songs that work here to make it an enjoyable listen.

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