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CD Review: Art Brut

Brilliant! Tragic! (Cooking Vinyl/The End)

These cheeky U.K. agit-punks have always mixed sly humor with abrasive riffs and unhinged vocals. It was almost inevitable then that the patron saint of such musical elements would eventually align with the band. The Pixies' Frank Black, who produced 2009's Art Brut vs. Satan, returns for Art Brut's fourth album. Although Brilliant! Tragic! isn't quite as crisp or memorable, it has moments of brilliance. Singer Eddie Argos remains the wittiest, most expressive frontman around. When he isn't singing about someone obsessed with Axl Rose, he's skewering lukewarm musicians with inflated egos or howling "E.S.P. is good for me" on, naturally, a song called "I Am the Psychic." — Annie Zaleski

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