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CD Review: The Starlight Mints 

Change Remains (Barsuk)

Let's be honest: Any idiot can write Lady Gaga's "Poker Face." What takes real creativity is a hooky pop song that stays fresh after 20 listens. The Starlight Mints are a complex pop group capable of that: The Oklahoma five-piece take songs you might hear on the radio and adds magic ingredients: spacey psychedelic sound effects, sprays of shaken percussion, '70s bass-guitar funk and whatever feels right at the moment. "Natural" matches crunchy electro-goodness with Nine Inch Nails-like grittiness and attitude that's more playful than a slobbering puppy. Slowly grooving to vaudevillian horns, "Zoomba" sounds like a collaboration between Queen and Weezer, complete with falsetto trills. If you drive around blasting Change Remains with the windows down, people around you might be confused at first, asking themselves, "What is this strange, but miraculously catchy music?" And maybe they'll turn off the latest Madonna rip-off and hear something worthwhile for a change. — Danielle Sills

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