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Lamb From Darkness to Wonder

It would be hard to top Lamb's self-titled debut, but the duo came alarmingly close with last year's What Sound. Sadly, their latest effort suffers mightily from coffee-shop/easy-listening syndrome, thanks to the toning down of Andy Barlow's drum and effects machines and the heightening of Louise Rhode's dreamy, ethereal vocals into schmaltz territory. Some tracks are exceptionally pretty (like the sparse, string-based "Learn") and others perfectly showcase Lamb's quirky, off-kilter character ("Open Up" and "Darkness"), but far too many dabble in a Dido-gone-digital space that sounds too contrived for a band with such a startlingly creative spark.

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