Combustible Edison

Combustible Edison

The Impossible World

Sub Pop

Combustible Edison fell prey to being at the right place at the right time for all the wrong reasons. The band’s “retro” sensibilities made them the darlings of the nouveau lounge set, an honor that was well-deserved, fleeting as it was. These days, it’s not even hip to hate lounge anymore; all the counterculture points are with hating swing.

Fortunately, the band is oblivious to the healthy trade in clichés they once participated in, and have forged ahead to produce The Impossible World, an interesting mixture of sounds, and eras of sound. Combustible Edison seems to have adopted several tricks from the dance music crowd, and a few tracks have a groove-oriented sensibility (though the rhythm section sounds as organic as can be). Classy instrumentals, such as the tropical spy theme of “Cat O’Nine Tails” or the Munsters-like twist of “Hot and Bothered,” share space with torchers like “Laura’s Aura,” tunes that glow like well-banked embers courtesy of Miss Lily Banquette’s sultry voice, equally adept at seductive purrs and haunting coos.

It’ll be interesting to see what the band brings on the stage with them as they tour the country in the coming months; this album, while not exactly a departure, certainly shows a new layer to the band’s virtuosity. Sub Pop Records, 1932 First Ave., Suite 1103, Seattle, WA 98101; http://www.subpop.com

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