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Dubstar sounds like the name of a reggae act, but in fact, Goodbye offers very lush, atmospheric and British-sounding synth-pop and dance-pop that inspired quite a few comparisons to St. Etienne, as well as the Pet Shop Boys and New Order. The Newcastle, England trio had become popular in the U.K. in 1995, and it was in 1997 that this CD introduced Dubstar to American shores. While St. Etienne is the most obvious influence on melancholy songs like "Can't Tell Me," "Stars" and "No More Talk," it's important to stress that Dubstar projects an attractive and recognizable personality of its own. Sarah Blackwood's waif-like vocals are as icy cool as the high-tech production, but as aloof as she can be, Blackwood allows a lot of vulnerability to come through on this striking, melodically rich effort.

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