Hot Robots

Power pop, by its nature, is a regressive genre, and Hot Robots is no different. The only thing that's in doubt is exactly which decade the band has so gleefully embraced. Built to Tilt, the Robots' full-length debut, re-creates every hook ever beaten to death by Cheap Trick, the Plimsouls and latter-day Guided by Voices — that is, some of the genre's greatest practitioners of the '70s, '80s and '90s. And therein lies the disc's beauty: True to the soul of power pop and unconcerned with anything else, Tilt speaks its own language, kisses its own cousins and gives its own secret handshake. Call it one-dimensional or even derivative; those who love power pop's big riffs, sweet harmonies and rock action will simply shrug and call it the real thing.

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