David Browne
October 10, 2003 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Dear Catastrophe Waitress

type
Music
Current Status
In Season
Producers
Rough Trade

We gave it a C+

Faced with becoming a ’90s nostalgia act, these founders of the school of overly precious chamber pop try stretching out. With their slightly more aggressive tempos and beaming harmonies, even hints of falsetto, songs like ”Roy Walker” and ”If She Wants Me” have moments of genuine beauty. But the smiley-face vibe and quasi-ironic lyrics — call it shiny, semi-happy people — only make the band seem more coy and arch than ever. The importance of being earnest still eludes them.

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