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Gene
LIBERTINE
(ARTIST DIRECT/IMUSIC)

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When Gene emerged in 1995 as part of a new wave of Britpop, the band ó in particular vocalist Martin Rossiter ó quickly gained a reputation in the US for sounding like the Smiths. Olympian, their US debut, was full of melancholy melodies and Rossiterís Morrissey-style overwrought lyrics. But Libertine, the bandís fourth full-length, bears little resemblance to that time. Now favoring a more subdued approach, Gene have begun to reach further back, to the í60s and í70s, for their cues. "From Georgia to Osaka" is a mod-style soul number, "Weíll Get What We Deserve" is organ-laced psychedelia, and "Yours for the Taking," the discís standout, brings to mind the new wave of Talk Talkís "Itís My Life" filtered through classic Motown. The once so overt choruses are now few and far between, except on the bouncy, guitar-driven "Walking in the Shallows." The result may be less readily digestible, but Libertineís polished, debonair songs are still worth spending some time with.

BY ANNIE ZALESKI

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