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Via Audio

You know you're off to a pretty kick-ass start when Spoon's producer (Jim Eno) offers to help make your debut album. Thanks to Eno, in September 2007, the quartet recorded its full-length album Say Something and gained a bit of acclaim among certain music critics. That disc is full of energetic indie-rock sensibilities, epic choruses, and stunning male-female harmonies à la the Hush Sound. The band members all have their shot at the vocal spotlight — sometimes, they collectively sound like Coldplay and other times they're as emo and androgynous as ever. The female voice of the group, guitarist/vocalist Jessica Martins, balances the act with her own singing style, tending to elevate and dominate the songs in which she's featured. If you've got the album, you'll know her shining moment comes during the bluesy, explosive "Enunciation," which is also one of the band's most impressive selections. When Via Audio isn't busy building rock-spirited crescendos, it dabbles in '80s-style electronica like LCD Soundsystem. It's good that the band can alter styles so fluidly, and that's a big part of its success. It's hard to say whether the band's appeal lies within its talent or its confidence, because group members clearly possess a great deal of both.

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Monica Cady

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