The Brunettes

Structure & Cosmetics (Sub Pop)

Phases & Stages

The Brunettes

Structure & Cosmetics (Sub Pop)

Of course the Brunettes are from New Zealand. Duo Jonathan Bree and Heather Mansfield come from the land of precious pop, and on their Sub Pop debut and third LP, Structure & Cosmetics, they poke fun at "bubblegum." See cheerleading opener "Brunettes Against Bubblegum Youth" for exhibit A. However adorable the sha-la-las on "If You Were Alien" ring of Lee Hazlewood and Nancy Sinatra at a hotel karaoke bar, the boy/girl vocal trade-off suffers from terminal cuteness. On top of that, the closing title track is a dead ringer for Air Supply's "Lost in Love." That might not necessarily be a bad thing, but many of the songs float off into the ether, never quite tethered to a beat or a guitar line. A little more structure and little less cosmetics would have been useful, because it's almost all too adorable. (The Brunettes comb over at Emo's Tuesday, Sept. 18.)

**

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