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Lava Love overflows with animated pop tunes

AUDIO REVIEW

Lava Love

Aphrodisia

Sky

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If any band ever deserved to have their its own cartoon, it would be Lava Love. All your best pop bands _ The Beatles, the Jackson Five, Josie and the Pussycats (who kick butt on Gem and the Holograms), even Sonny and Cher and Davy Jones in their guest appearances on Scooby Doo _ got to be animated. In this time when people are afraid to admit they ever dug the Archies, Lava Love should be rewarded for its unabashed pop bravery with its very own Saturday morning show.

Aphrodisia has your catchy riffs, cheesy keyboards, quirky vocals and sugary themes _ the most important ingredients in a pure pop mixture. With Mitch Easter (REM, Love Tractor) returning as the band's producer, Lava Love's second effort isn't the total bubblegum extravaganza its debut, Whole Lava Love, proved to be, but it's pretty snappy.

Singer Esta Hill has fine-tuned her powerful Betty Boop vocals to cover a wider range of singing styles, and you won't find the same light-hearted themes that were on Whole Lava Love. My Downfall is a swooning ballad of heartbreak, followed by You Paint a Pretty Picture, a delightful ditty of disillusionment.

The Now Scene is sort of a cross between The Happening and Georgie Girl, with its late '60s Carnaby Street sensibility, while Television Kiss is a droning moratorium on this society's addiction to mind-numbing entertainment.

The guitar-punched Modern Cavalier and the silly-sensual Love Orchard, with its wacky organ riff, are all go-go fun 'n' games, as is the tongue-in-cheek Strange Movie _ making Lava Love a heck of a lot more deserving of cartoondom than the asexual and totally uncool Osmond Family ever was.

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