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SOUND BITES

The Mighty Lemon DropsSound

Sire

+++

Credit the Mighty Lemon Drops' palatability to producer Andy Paley, who sees the band through 11 somewhat brief cuts on their recent album, Sound. Dream-like melodies, stoked by '60s-flavored rhythms, steal effective moments in cuts such as Unkind, My Shadow Girl and Too High. Yet after slugging out a few tracks, Sound bogs down. The group seems to be trying a bit too hard to imitate its format. Songs like Big Surprise suffer as a result. But the quartet manages to pull its style from the fire with the persistence of Cold, Cold Heart and Colorful-Loving Me, making Sound a release that is acceptable and digestible, although not entirely essential.

_ DAVE HALL

Deadicated

Various Artists

Sire

++++

The songwriting strength of the Grateful Dead has always taken a backseat to the psychedelic experience of the group's live show. Deadicated lifts the veil from the group's musical catalog, offering cover versions of Dead tunes by artists as diverse as Lyle Lovett and Jane's Addiction, to benefit rain forest preservation.

Elvis Costello, Bruce Hornsby, The Indigo Girls and Warren Zevon turn in some of the record's best performances. Yet, there's a suspicion that some of the Grateful Dead's material might have been better performed by other artists.

_ DAVE HALL

Vanity Kills

2 Die 4

Hollywood

+

Wait until a semi-tolerable Florida mornings dawns; one that's relatively cool with a slight breeze. Get up early and go to the closest ATM to your house. Withdraw $20, take the bill to an early opening grocery or convenience store and change it into single dollar bills.

Clutching the money in your fist, hop into a car, preferably a convertible, allowing the air and the sun's first rays to caress your face. Get on the interstate, enjoying the feeling of acceleration, and head south to the Skyway Bridge.

As you approach the top of the bridge, aglow now in full sunlight in all its yellow brilliance, stick your hand, the one still gripping the now-sweaty dollar bills, out the window of the car. At the very top of the bridge, wind whipping, sun blazing, car moving fast, let go of the money.

Now you will have exactly the same sensation you would as if you'd gone out and spent $20 on this album.

_ JEAN CAREY

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