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Blusom

The Metapolitan (Second Nature Recordings)

Topping Go Slowly All the Way Round the Outside, Blusom's excellent 2003 debut, would have been damn near impossible -- and wisely, partners Mike Behrenhausen and Jaime White, known as Jme, don't even try. Instead, they use their sophomore disc as an opportunity to further develop their beguiling blend of acoustic instrumentation and electronic experimentation. The tracks may seem scattershot, but they still hit the target.

The disc includes danceable oddities ("Midnights and Mornings"), jolting instrumental fragments ("Gossamer Wasp Saves Himself"), gorgeous, heartfelt balladry ("Greens and Greys") and plenty of electro-inventiveness. This eccentric combination works because of Jme's expanding command of production techniques, heard to exhilarating effect on the Eno-esque "Building Blocks," and the emotional nakedness Behrenhausen brings to the likes of "The Holy Together," which features the line "Let's make a child to sing songs when we're dead."

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Like the bizarro cityscape on its cover, The Metapolitan confounds expectations at every turn -- and this quality makes return visits that much more fascinating.

 
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