Indian Summer

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The sophomore effort from Daniel Barida and Julie Park finds the Toronto duo continuing to explore the bright, sunny pop territory that they mapped out on 2000's Wanderlust with continued pleasing, if not earth-shaking, results. Chicklet constantly walks the thin line between simple and simplistic, wedding simple chord progressions and nursery-rhyme melodies to lyrics that are sometimes cloying ("Hey, hey, I still feel like a young girl/Sane, ready for a new era") and sometimes quirkily cute (as when "delirious in joy" rhymes with "dangerously coy"). When the cuteness threatens to take over, there are usually some crunchy guitars or genuinely artful vocal harmonies to get things back on track. Unfortunately, the album's final two tracks are rather vapid ballads that have neither rock & roll spine nor solid hooks to bolster them, and consequently they slowly fall apart, ending the album with a whimper instead of a bang. This album is well worth a listen overall, but probably won't change the way you think about pop music. Which, if you're already happy with the way you think about pop music, may be just fine with you.

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