The fact that this L.A. goth-pop duo's second album is actually kind of decent may be the biggest music-world shock since the Radiohead announcement. That She Wants Revenge—the one whose self-titled 2006 debut was one of the biggest turds in recent memory? The same. How did they do it? Simple: They threw out any pretense of seriousness and dedicated themselves to crafting pure, shameless bubblegum—or black licorice, if you prefer. Sure, there are stupid lyrics galore: "Her religion is killing me / License to do as she pleases," from "Checking Out," for example. But at least they're good for laughs instead of the is-this-over-yet dullardry of Interpol, especially with vocalist and ex-rapper Justin Warfield ladling on the thickest fake-Brit accent since early Ministry ("There's nowhere to hoide to-noight"). And the tunes stick like prime Depeche Mode, even if Warfield sounds just like The Psychedelic Furs' Richard Butler. This is She Wants Revenge's The Black Parade: a lot dumber, but a huge improvement.
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