Bowery Electric

Lushlife

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By now, you pretty much know what to expect from Bowery Electric -- great head music filled with dashes of Mo' Wax-informed beats, breathy vocals, and atmospheric flourishes. Those three characteristics are a dime a dozen by now, but somehow BE manages to pull it off without sounding like the umpteenth Portishead knock-off. The duo breathes life into the dead and bloated goat of trip-hop by shedding their own tendency to space out in favor of concentrating more on the pulsing low end. Lawrence Chandler's beats, though highly clich├ęd at points, land harder than before, and Martha Schwendener's vocals are more prominent. It's their most song-based outing to date, and as a result, it's also their most accessible. At times ("Freedom Fighter,") they even sound assaultive! Yet another Bowery release that feels as comfortable as fresh sheets on the bed, Lushlife lends itself more to head-nodding than nodding off. If it seems too much like a tired, well-trodden road, just pretend the record came out in '95.

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