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The press materials cite Rainer Maria, the Flaming Lips, and Yo La Tengo as stylistic touchstones for Bagheera, a St. Louis-based duo consisting of Heather Dallape and Theodore Moll. But listeners of a certain age will hear two other predecessors as well, and maybe even more strongly: X (in those astringent boy-girl harmonies) and Timbuk 3 (in those quirky hooks and that understated distrust of science and technology). Bagheera's sound is a little bit messy and their melodies are sometimes kind of loopy, but several of these songs hit the spot immediately (like the glorious "Long Division" and "Admission/Concession"). Others grow on you with repeated listenings until their gentle hooks sink deep into your brain. That's the case with "Isolated in an Accelerating Universe," for example, which hides gorgeous guitar lines in a sonically sloppy web of distortion, and of the rhythmically strange but undeniably hook-filled "Solstice." The CD features a bonus CD-ROM track that includes lyrics, a brief and worthless snippet titled "Eleven Twelve" (accompanied by a nonvideo that looks like a static picture of organ register buttons), an extra song titled "Not Enough Time for Quitting," and a very fine extended mix of "Admission/Concession." Highly recommended.

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