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Cherry Monroe 

The Good, the Bad & the Beautiful (Rust/Universal)

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Cherry Monroe plays the kind of pretty-boy pop rock that would typically draw the wrath of overserious music critics and the devotion of young gals with canopies over their beds. The Youngstown quintet has already been acclaimed in Seventeen magazine, and if you listen closely to the band's latest, you can hear 1,000 teen girls sighing.

Sure, band members may sport pointy hair and tight pants, looking like Lit but possessing the sad-eyed sentimentality of Dashboard Confessional. But it works well. Nearly every song on The Good, the Bad & the Beautiful could be a single, from punchy, radio-ready rockers like "Satellites" to breathy power ballads like "Anything." "Let's lie beneath the stars and cry," frontman Matt Toka sings on "Painkillers," one of the album's 11 songs about girls. Toka's delivery begins with a mild snarl before trailing off into a pleading whelp; he has the bad-boy-with-a-soft-side thing down cold. Meet your kid sister's new favorite band.

More by Jason Bracelin

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