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Alec Ounsworth, ‘Mo Beauty’ (Anti-)

There’s no mistaking Alec Ounsworth’s voice: Even with backup from New Orleans ringers — drummer Stanton Moore and keyboardist Robert Walter, among others — the Clap Your Hands Say Yeah frontman can’t escape his nervous yelp. But that’s fine when it’s paired with the sharpest arrangements and best songwriting of his short career: Almost every tune on Mo Beauty equals or betters those on CYHSY’s lauded 2005 debut, mixing spooky folk (“What Fun”) with frantic fun (the towering, sax-assisted “Modern Girl […with Scissors]”). Ounsworth’s regular band may have a shaky future, but he doesn’t.


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