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Sondre Lerche, ‘Phantom Punch’ (Astralwerks)

On the heels of last year’s The Duper Sessions — his total immersion in neo-Tin Pan Alley craftiness — Lerche obviously wanted to loosen up and rock a little. As evidence, skip to the title track, a wry Britpop jaunt with insistent guitar slashes, and the furious Green Day–by-way-of–Elvis Costello churner “Face the Blood” (“Didn” ever think I’d be sleeping with the sharks,” he opines). Though the hooks and melodies are spread a little thin elsewhere, Lerche still has a convincing charm in his lighter, acoustic moments, as on the wistful, wounded “After All.”

Now Hear This: Sondre Lerche – “Phantom Punch” WINDOWS MEDIA | REAL