Delgados, Crooked Fingers

What next for the Delgados? The Carpenters-vs.-Flaming Lips grandeur of last year's Hate already lies on the top shelf next to the very best their Glasgow, Scotland, scene brethren Belle & Sebastian, Mogwai, Arab Strap and Snow Patrol have to offer. Alun Woodward and the all-powerful Emma Pollock just shrugged and moved on to the breezy Universal Audio, which goes back to their fuzzy-pop mid-'90s roots. Try as they might, the Delgados just can't hide their pure pop brilliance, oozing indigo mood-melodies and spunky right hooks out of every cranny, often at the same time. They are joined by Crooked Fingers and Eric Bachmann, who fuses everything you ever liked about Bruce Springsteen and Tom Waits into a beer-soaked hoedown filled with the spunk of the Chapel Hill indie rock scene he helped birth with the Archers of Loaf.
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Michael Chamy