Miike Snow, 'Miike Snow' (Downtown)

Critical Mass
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by Barry Walters

New Yorker Andrew Wyatt fronts the brainy, unsung rock band Fires of Rome. Swedes Pontus Winnberg and Christian Karlsson, a.k.a. Bloodshy & Avant, mastermind transatlantic smashes like Britney Spears' "Toxic." But here, the trio's talents commingle easily in cotton-candy psychedelia that sticks plush electro effects where backward guitar solos and frilly paisley shirts would ordinarily hang. Both the production and Wyatt's shape-shifting croon are so butter-smooth that it takes repeated plays to sense the hurt that hides behind these dance-floor lullabies. Hooky on the outside, bruised within, it's club-pop for introverts.

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