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Kamera Resurrection - Nettwerk Sounds - like: Watered-down Duran Duran -  - Short take: '80s imitators fail miserably -  - When the neo-New Wave zeitgeist hit a few years ago, - one of the driving influences was Duran Duran, which - decades earlier mixed synth sounds with alluring guitar - melodies. While bands like The Killers and VHS or Beta - compellingly tapped into the Simon LeBon-led band's - darker guitar tendencies, new Swedish group Kamera has - unabashedly aped breezy synth qualities. A song such as - "Like a Drug" would have been an instant MTV hit back - in the day, but comes across now as nothing more than - plastic, drum-machine-driven schlock. Then there's "I - Was Made," which feels like a rejected Pet Shop Boys - song. Kamera misses the mark by focusing on one - clichd synth-driven track after another, instead of - following Duran Duran's solid guitar foundation lead. -  John Benson -
  • Kamera
    Resurrection
    Nettwerk
    Sounds like: Watered-down Duran Duran

    Short take: '80s imitators fail miserably

    When the neo-New Wave zeitgeist hit a few years ago, one of the driving influences was Duran Duran, which decades earlier mixed synth sounds with alluring guitar melodies. While bands like The Killers and VHS or Beta compellingly tapped into the Simon LeBon-led band's darker guitar tendencies, new Swedish group Kamera has unabashedly aped breezy synth qualities. A song such as "Like a Drug" would have been an instant MTV hit back in the day, but comes across now as nothing more than plastic, drum-machine-driven schlock. Then there's "I Was Made," which feels like a rejected Pet Shop Boys song. Kamera misses the mark by focusing on one clichd synth-driven track after another, instead of following Duran Duran's solid guitar foundation lead. John Benson

Jack Johnson Sleep Through the Static - Brushfire Records - Sounds like: The singer has been - defeated -  - Short take: Avoid heavy machinery -  - Jack Johnson delivers a snoozer with Sleep Through - the Static. The singer-songwriter gained fame for - his acoustic sound, but slow tempos and dismal lyrics - make this release more melancholy than mellow. The - opener, "All at Once," sets the tone. Over a plodding - beat, Johnson laments a lost romance: "Sometimes it - feels like a heart is no place to be singing from at all." - Other songs continue the failed-relationship theme, with - the exception of "Angel" (a sappy acoustic tribute to a - woman) and the title track (this album's token what's- - wrong-with-this-world song  think "Good People" - from In Between Dreams, or "Gone" from On - and On). Johnson succeeds when he employs - energetic piano chords and faster beats, like on "If I Had - Eyes." But he doesn't do it enough. It's easy to sleep - through this album.   Meghan - Loftus -
  • Jack Johnson
    Sleep Through the Static
    Brushfire Records
    Sounds like: The singer has been defeated

    Short take: Avoid heavy machinery

    Jack Johnson delivers a snoozer with Sleep Through the Static. The singer-songwriter gained fame for his acoustic sound, but slow tempos and dismal lyrics make this release more melancholy than mellow. The opener, "All at Once," sets the tone. Over a plodding beat, Johnson laments a lost romance: "Sometimes it feels like a heart is no place to be singing from at all." Other songs continue the failed-relationship theme, with the exception of "Angel" (a sappy acoustic tribute to a woman) and the title track (this album's token what's- wrong-with-this-world song think "Good People" from In Between Dreams, or "Gone" from On and On). Johnson succeeds when he employs energetic piano chords and faster beats, like on "If I Had Eyes." But he doesn't do it enough. It's easy to sleep through this album. Meghan Loftus

Air Traffic Fractured Life - Astralwerks Sounds - like: Radiohead-inspired Britpop -  - Short take: The sky's the limit -  - If you're enamored with the textured songwriting of early - Radiohead, the tuneful melodies of Travis and the tender - piano sensibilities of Ben Folds, the debut from U.K. - outfit Air Traffic will blow your mind and infect what's - left with one sing-along song after another. What's - striking about this 12-track effort is the emotional depth - experienced throughout various styles and sounds. The - beguiling "No More Running Away" captures your - attention with its simple piano melody, while a sizzling - guitar chord snaps up your musical soul. It's the exact - song Coldplay has been attempting to write for the past - decade. There also are plenty of rocking riffs - ("Charlotte") and pop victories ("Never Even Told Me Her - Name"). Here's one time you should believe the hype - about a U.K. band on the rise.  John - Benson
  • Air Traffic
    Fractured Life
    Astralwerks
    Sounds like: Radiohead-inspired Britpop

    Short take: The sky's the limit

    If you're enamored with the textured songwriting of early Radiohead, the tuneful melodies of Travis and the tender piano sensibilities of Ben Folds, the debut from U.K. outfit Air Traffic will blow your mind and infect what's left with one sing-along song after another. What's striking about this 12-track effort is the emotional depth experienced throughout various styles and sounds. The beguiling "No More Running Away" captures your attention with its simple piano melody, while a sizzling guitar chord snaps up your musical soul. It's the exact song Coldplay has been attempting to write for the past decade. There also are plenty of rocking riffs ("Charlotte") and pop victories ("Never Even Told Me Her Name"). Here's one time you should believe the hype about a U.K. band on the rise. John Benson

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