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Augustana

All the Stars and Bouelvards

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Augustana
All the Stars and Bouelvards
(Epic)
Yet another band that subscribes to the Coldplay form of impassioned singalong. We must’ve reached critical mass for this kind of music by now, considering just the imports from the UK — Keane, Doves, Snow Patrol and so on. There’s very little to distinguish Augustana from the Brit lot, even though the band hails from Illinois. The big, major chord-driven choruses dominate from the beginning but hit their schmaltzy worst with “Stars and Boulevards” and “Boston.” The prevalence of unoriginality here almost makes you miss a couple worthy songs, providing some hope this band can find its own voice: “Lonely People” rocks like good layered power-pop does, while “Coffee and Cigarettes” comes across as solid, moody Americana.
—Sean Flinn

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