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Celebration, ‘The Modern Tribe’ (4AD)

With TV on the Radio’s Dave Sitek producing, and cameos from Afrobeat collective Anti­balas and Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ Nick Zinner, this Baltimore-based trio struggle to escape the shadow cast by their peers. Drummer David Bergander’s ethnic rhythms (see Antibalas) drive Sean Antanaitis’ atmospheric keyboards (see TV on the Radio), while Katrina Ford coos, wails, and shrieks (see Karen O). The theatrical pastiche is less chaotic than on 2005’s debut but still hits snags: The insistent grooves lack dynamic drama, the instrumentation is overcooked, and Ford’s vocals often feel contrived.

Now Hear This: Celebration – “Evergreen” DOWNLOAD MP3

Now Watch This: Celebration – “Tame the Savage”