A*Teens, Baha Men

August 13

The Baha Men are no doubt making more from Barry Sonnenfeld's liberal use of their surprisingly immortal "Who Let the Dogs Out" in Men in Black II than they are from sales of their latest, Move It Like This (which seems as much a purchase-power directive as a suggestion to get down). But don't write off squeaky-clean Swedish teen-poppers the A*Teens so quickly. Or, actually, go ahead, though make sure you first take the time to admire the magnificent OK-ness of Pop 'Til You Drop!, the Teens' third album, perhaps the coziest formal exercise the genre's yet produced (and, yes, that does include Aaron Carter's several tries at the title). Pop's an immensely satisfying listen if you've spent a lot of time wandering around teen-pop's architecture, down to the defanged cover of "School's Out" that closes the disc--you can't even really make out Alice Cooper's cameo from the tightly wound fabric of electronically enhanced voices singing the song, which is a victory of form over function at least as spectacular as when the actress who played the oldest daughter on Roseanne left and they got that new girl to play her and hoped we wouldn't notice. Of course, it can't hold a candle to The ABBA Generation, the Teens' 1999 debut (on which they paid tribute to their Swedish godparents ABBA by gloriously redoing ABBA hits and that's it), but who cares when four Scandinavian teen-agers are onstage drowning in glitter and flouting creative ambition?

 
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