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ENRIQUE IGLESIAS Seven ***


Doe-eyed Enrique Iglesias is much hotter than Ricky Martin (where is Ricky, anyway?) but this is about the music, right? Looks don’t sell CDs (except in the case of Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Staind, Justin Timberlake, Matchbox Twenty ... oh, man). Anyway, Seven is chock-full of FM-friendly pop that lays sweet ‘n’ spicy on the tastebuds like a Mexican tamarindo lollipop, interplaying between sunshine-y sassy love songs like “Not in Love,” mopey, self-analyzing love songs like “Adicto” and apologetic, balladic love songs like “Say It.” One-track mind, eh? (Interscope)


WILSHIRE New Universe ***


Despite the husband/wife team of Wilshire being very good-looking, that’s not why they were picked up by Columbia! Micah Wilshire does look suspiciously like Hulk’s Eric Bana, and Lori Wilshire resembles an all-American Abercrombie & Fitch model, but the point is the music, and Wilshire effortlessly spin out pleasant, sugary pop-rock with multi-layered harmonizing vocals welded seamlessly together. Just think of them as the polar opposite of Jucifer. (Columbia)


LOS HALOS Leaving Va. ***


Los Halos sound like a Yo La Tengo rip-off, down to a name that’s clear as a bell in Spain and uncluttered cover art of glowing lights against a night sky (minus the alien abductions). But Los Halos don’t embarrass their aesthetic mentor. Case in point: “Lo Siento,” where legato synths and tender slide guitar create an atmosphere as soothing as puddles of silver moonlight dappling sleeping country fields. (Loveless)


DEFAULT Elocation **


Why post-grunge bands like Default, with their whiny sub-Cobain vocals—which stand out most distinctly in such loser-epic anthems as “Taking My Life Away”—think they’re saying or contributing anything new for the musical landscape is a riddle that you can contemplate during the trailers of your second viewing of Lord of the Rings 3 this post-holiday season. Best attempts at significance go to “Cruel” and “Crossing the Line.” (TVT)


BARGAIN MUSIC The Magic is Over *


And how. Since you can’t be in 10 bands at once (although several overworked local musicians might disagree), why not cover 10 different genres within one band? The idea falls flat, however, when Bargain Music go from rock burner “Psychotic Sleepover” to the Sublimelike “Raking Leaves on a Blacktop,” and it’s all downhill from there. Trying to be Prince in “Don’t U Like My Style?” and an actual ill-advised Prince cover, “Beautiful Ones,” complete the fatal descent. (Beatville)

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Rebecca Vernon

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