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DeVotchKa, ‘100 Lovers’ (ANTI-)

For the first few tracks of DeVotchka’s second album since gaining wider notice via the Little Miss Sunshine soundtrack, this Denver foursome swap their core Gypsy/Slavic/Greek influences for Arcade Fire’s brimstone bombast. Drenched in reverb and buried in strings, leader Nick Urata yelps on tremulous opening track “The Alley” as if he’s trapped in a canyon with James Franco in 127 Hours. Gradually, he surfaces along with the band’s worldly identity, but the sentiments behind the histrionic symphonics often remain obscured, and the band’s desperation lacks focus.