Nova Scotia

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Cousteau's third album, and first without longtime keyboardist and primary songwriter Davey Ray Moor, deviates from the moody British chamber pop collective's previous recordings only in name. The newly minted Moreau -- the result of some impenetrable legalese best left to its authors to decipher -- approach the appropriately titled Nova Scotia with the confidence of a band of brothers, building off of 2002's Sirena's penchant for midtempo adult alternative rockers without sacrificing any of the sadcore backbone that made them inseparable from the Tindersticks on their self-titled debut in 2000. Vocalist Liam McKahey dutifully takes over the main songwriting duties, employing his signature baritone over crisp nightclub dirges ("Highly"), open-road epics ("Black Heart of Mine"), and even a track with handclaps ("Sadness"). There's nothing here that's going to convert the band's detractors, but for longtime fans of Cousteau, Moreau may just be the beginning of a successful evolution, not a last grasp at past glory. [Endeavor Records released Nova Scotia under the Cousteau moniker in 2005. It was released on One Little Indian in 2006 with two bonus tracks, "Nova Scotia" and "A World Away," under the newly adopted name.]

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