The Bible


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Steve Earle's production adds sharpness to the sound of this British art/folk-rock band, but he can't give them the distinctiveness they need. The sound is delicate and wispy, full of midtempo acoustic guitar strumming, as singer Boo Hewerdine speak-sings the lyrics in an uninvolved way that suggests Bryan Ferry and Morrissey but doesn't equal them. Those lyrics are vaguely about love and rejection, with several references to marriage, but it's the vagueness that dominates. One keeps waiting for the Bible to focus in on musical and lyrical moments that will help define them, but things remain cloudy, and finally the record just floats away.

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