The Raveonettes

Pretty in Black (Columbia)

Phases & Stages

The Raveonettes

Pretty in Black (Columbia)

As Phil Spector sits on trial, accused of murder, hordes of new acts are psychically tapping his tuneful ear for a new old sound. Some have found it, others aren't so lucky. On sophomore LP Pretty in Black, Copenhagen's Raveonettes – Sune Rose Wagner and Sharin Foo – have taken their love of Fifties kitsch and Sixties pop off the Jesus & Mary Chain Gang of Love and down to the Velvet Underground. Not to say they've gotten soft, but Black is a hazy shade of winter. Lilting opener "The Heavens" is a gracious host, filled with Wagner's croon, while "Love in a Trashcan" is twangy Chain Gang fodder. A "Sleepwalking" cover warbles with Reedian detachment, and their take on "My Boyfriend's Back" picks up with an electro-pop bang. "Here Comes Mary" is "Sweet Jane" in reverse, and "Somewhere in Texas" takes back roads through boozy folk rock. While the album as a whole drums the rock slowly, it's one of the final songs, "Ode to L.A.," that takes bomp to the bank, all Ronnie Spector whoah-ohs and sugary Fifties bounce. It's a case of killing your idols, but in this case it's not a crime. (Parish, Tuesday, May 17)

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