Short takes | EW.com

Music

Short takes

EW reviews the latest albums by United State of Electronica, Stereophonics, Aqualung, and Petra Haden

SHORT TAKES

UNITED STATE OF ELECTRONICA U.S.E. (Sonic Boom) Junior Senior’s ”Move Your Feet” meets Discovery-era Daft Punk on this electro-pop act’s ecstatic debut album. The fizzy fun begins with ”It Is On!” — a synthy trip to euphoria that, we’re pleased to report, is followed by many happy returns. B+

STEREOPHONICS Language. Sex. Violence. Other? (V2) These Britpopsters could shine if they ever figured out a way to showcase singer-guitarist Kelly Jones’ booze-soaked croon. Alas, Language finds his vocals buried behind blocky dance-rock that recalls U2’s sludgy Pop at its densest. D+

AQUALUNG Strange and Beautiful (Red Ink/Columbia) Not a Tull tribute, but a set of gorgeous, lo-fi-Coldplay swoons by British balladeer Matt Hales, highlighted by the must-hear title track. Even when he sings about ”falling out of love,” he sounds enraptured. A-

PETRA HADEN Petra Haden Sings: The Who Sell Out (Bar/None) This L.A. singer has boldly remade Pete Townshend’s favorite Who album a cappellastyle — with stunning results. Leaching out the boombastic arrangements, Haden locates the melancholia in Townshend’s melodies. Her voice — tender and affectless — is like a benediction to the songs’ creators. A-