Saint Etienne

Good Humor

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Good Humor has Saint Etienne back cooking up more delectable lolli-pop. From "Woodcabin," the dubby, bass-heavy opener, Good Humor is a typically arch Saint Etienne album full of easy-listening dream pop. Tracks like the shimmering "Lose That Girl" and the swirling "Erica America" show Saint Etienne at its melancholic best. There are, predictably, some near misses such as the Beatlesque "Mr. Donut," which is as sweet as a strawberry field but fails to deliver the melodic promises made by the smart atmospherics. "Goodnight Jack," with its pastel-shaded flute loops and subtle breakbeats, has a positively cooler-than-cool feel and a wrenching change of pace toward the middle of the song. Sure, Good Humor is clever, perhaps overly so, and yeah, it's full of the Et's contrived coyness and we-know-more-than-you attitude, but it's good stuff. Sometimes you just want to put on a disc, sit back, and let it carry you off to someplace else. If that's all you're looking for, Good Humor is sweet ear candy.

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