Bettie Serveert is, on the face of things, a fairly conventional pop group. It uses standard guitar/bass/drums instrumentation, and its songs are almost all standard verse/chorus/ verse constructions with regular rhyme schemes. The most exotic thing about the band is that its members are all Dutch. But get beyond the nothing-new exterior, and you'll be forced to admit that Bettie Serveert is very, very good. Lyricist/singer Carol Van Dijk has a rare knack for writing odd, inscrutable lyrics which listeners could interpret any way they want, giving the songs an almost dreamy feel, like mumbling-era R.E.M. And she has a warm, strong voice that can do just about anything, a voice that's an order of magnitude more sophisticated than today's trendy baby-voiced chipmunks. Dust Bunnies is a moody, heavily melodic album, full of powerful but almost subliminal hooks and Van Dijk's friendly, confessional singing. Where the record shines is in its intangible quality of seeming to exist for the listener alone, as if each song has a special message just for you. That's what all pop tries to do, and Bettie Serveert succeeds brilliantly.

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