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While it's the presence of indie goddess Rose Melberg that will undoubtedly cause a stir among the twee-pop kids, Mitsumeru deserves to be taken solely on its own terms -- with Melberg primarily hanging in the background, Gaze is instead left to sink or swim on the talents of Miko Hoffman and Megan Mallett, and they've delivered a superb album with a charming beauty all its own. Granted, it's difficult not to compare Mitsumeru to the music of Tiger Trap or the Softies, but that's as much a result of the uniform excellence of Gaze's songs as it is of the groups' sonic similarities -- tracks like "Shady," "Jelly-Bean" and "Anyway" are deceptively simple and insidiously catchy, by turns sharply witty and crushingly sad. A wonderful debut.

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