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by Carey Murphy and Michael Bowen & r & & r & Pretty Girls Make Graves & lt;a href= & quot; & amp;offerid=78941 & amp;type=3 & amp;subid=0 & amp;tmpid=1826 & amp; & quot; & Elan Vital & lt;/a & 3 Stars & r & With the addition of keyboardist Leonna Marrs, the dynamic, Seattle-based band Pretty Girls Make Graves stands of the verge of something -- I'm just not quite sure what it is. Sure, the newest album makes sense in terms of its progression from the universal acclaim of 2003's The New Romance; sure, they've channeled their post-punk rage into more melodic constructions. But what does all this mean when the goal simply seems to be commercial viability?

The frenetic rants and spas-pop tendencies that once characterized the sound have been muted, but at least they haven't disappeared entirely. Singer Andrea Zollo still packs a shrieky wallop when she chooses, but the entire album is steeped in the new-wave revivalism that has earmarked music for much of the last four years. "Domino" makes me want to go roller-skating, while "Pearls on a Plate" seems destined for a James Bond film. I'm so confused.

I do like what I hear, though I'm not yet sure how to process it. Get back to me next month. -- Carey Murphy & r & DOWNLOAD: " & lt;a href= & quot; & amp;offerid=78941 & amp;type=3 & amp;subid=0 & amp;tmpid=1826 & amp; & quot; & The Nocturnal House & lt;/a & "

Cyrus Chestnut & lt;a href= & quot; & amp;offerid=78941 & amp;type=3 & amp;subid=0 & amp;tmpid=1826 & amp; & quot; & Genuine Chestnut & lt;/a & 3 Stars & r & Roly-poly Cyrus Chestnut has played with the likes of Christian McBride and Terence Blanchard, and he took some creative chances with James Carter while playing keys on Gold Sounds, an album of jazzy Pavement covers. But Genuine Chestnut represents a return to the Nut Man's more hidebound roots. A ballad with bossa nova flourishes, "Ellen's Song" is one highlight, and in "Little Girl's Strut," listeners can visualize Chestnut's daughter Jazzmin swaying to the congas. "Mason-Dixon Line," with its upbeat stride runs, recalls Art Tatum -- and it's the only time here that Chestnut is joined solely by his two sidemen, drummer Neal Smith and bassist Michael Hawkins (whose solo shines on Fats Domino's "I'm Walkin'"). But "Eyes on the Prize" and "Through the Valley" overemphasize Steven Kroon's special percussion effects, and neither track develops its ideas' potential. Less adventurous than works by trio leaders like Brad Mehldau or even Bill Charlap, Genuine Chestnut is still recommended for fans of gospel- and Latin-inflected piano jazz. -- Michael Bowen & r & DOWNLOAD: " & lt;a href= & quot; & amp;offerid=78941 & amp;type=3 & amp;subid=0 & amp;tmpid=1826 & amp; & quot; & Mason-Dixon Line & lt;/a & "
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