Splendid

Have You Got a Name for It?

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Aside from singer Angie Hart's previous group Frente!, the most audible reference points for Splendid would be Juliana Hatfield, and on somewhat tougher and bleaker songs like "I'm No Better" and "Cry," Liz Phair. Hart and guitarist Jesse Tobias write all but one song, with assistance from producer Craig Ross and Shelly Peiken on some cuts, with lyrics focusing on that endlessly durable topic, the vicissitudes of personal relationships. This debut of moderately tuneful and engaging alt pop isn't too remarkable or original. But it is likable, in large part because Splendid are one of the relatively few groups of this sort that play it low-key or restrained, rather than strainingly earnest and in your face. There are some creative arrangements too, with percussion and subtle warm tones not too far removed from those employed by artists like Magnetic Fields.

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