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Say Hi, ‘Oohs and Aahs’ (Barsuk)

Eric Elbogen’s fifth album illustrates what happens when a songwriter gets too good at recording without leaving the house: Instead of merely sounding “multi-layered,” the music causes a listener to start visualizing acoustic riffs and drum-machine patterns copy- pasted and arranged on a laptop monitor. A sensitive Seattle mumbler, Elbogen pens lively lyrics about car chases and hot DJ ladies, but his arrangements trundle along stiffly, each song rendering an imitation of rock that’s as finely detailed as a hobbyist’s diorama, and ultimately about as exciting.

Listen: Say Hi, “November Was White, December Was Grey”(DOWNLOAD MP3)