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Alias & Tarsier Brookland/Oaklyn

"I will not hate you, but I'll soon wear you down, down, down", sings Rona "Tarsier" Rapadas. Too bad I was already worn down after the album's opener, "Cub," a juvenile number where Tarsier sings about a little kid she saw on a train. OK, I'll be fair: producer Alias makes decent music here; he maintains an odd tension as his gentle ballads, tinged with distortion and nimble hip-hop beats, seem to nearly collapse. The chaos is particularly palpable on "Luck and Fear," as labelmates Themselves interrupt the song with yammering influenced by CIA truth serum. But no matter how many tricks Alias has up his sleeve, Tarsier's lullaby voice is not strong enough to carry this record.

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