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The Sea and Cake 

One Bedroom (Thrill Jockey)

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One Bedroom starts out perky -- almost too much so. Like that little dog, Chester, who constantly kissed up to Spike in the Tom 'n' Jerry cartoons, "Four Corners" opens up the record with an insistent hook, a tug on your sleeve that says, "C'mon, guys! If you forgive us for making that mediocre record, Oui, back in 2000, we'll be your best friends!" The track bounces along for three minutes before Sam Prekop starts in with the ol' whispery stuff, and quicker than Spike could say, "You know where there izzit a cat?", One Bedroom's got you. If Oui left you feeling like maybe Prekop blew his stash on his superb solo outing the year before, this album will restore your faith.

Although, on Oui, the Chicago quartet -- Prekop, part-time cartoonist Archer Prewitt, bassist Eric Claridge, and Chicago wunderkind John McEntire -- came perilously close to being this generation's Steely Dan, now, fortunately, they've picked up the pace. The musicians let in gentle feedback, fuzz, and more glitchy electronic goodness than ever before. The title track has a solid bossa nova base, and there's a positively disco vibe to this record that, coupled with Prekop's bedroom voice, handily wins back the band's Late Night Makeout Soundtrack Kings title.

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