Cool Blue Halo


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Kangaroo could be the soundtrack to an Amy Heckerling film -- it's an album full of sparkling, smart, and memorable power pop songs. Cool Blue Halo's fuzzy, fizzy guitars suit the vocalists' harmonies quite well; the album is full of toe-tapping pop gems that took the best of Sugar, the Doughboys, and Jesus and Mary Chain. Paul Bodreau's "Too Much Kathleen" would make Matthew Sweet jealous, and "The Only One" is an ode to early-'80s bouncy pop. Barry Walsh's "Congratulations" is a sweet and sincere early-'60s pop throwback, while the infectious "Throw Me Down" is slick and smooth '90s dream pop. Jason Ives' "Spark-O-Matik" is slightly grungy, but understated and thoughtful. Cool Blue Halo isn't doing anything necessarily groundbreaking, but they're doing it better than most -- Kangaroo is one of the most refreshing power pop albums to surface in the past few years.

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