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KATYDIDS (Buy CDs by this artist)
Katydids (Reprise) 1990

As produced by Nick Lowe, this London quintet's fine debut mixes its pop metaphors and age sensibilities in generally delightful fashion. The perky adolescent songs ("Stop Start," "Heavy Weather Traffic," "Lights Out (Read My Lips)," "Dr. Rey") layer American-born Susie Hug's pretty voice (with harmonies by co-writer/guitarist Adam Seymour, a veteran jingle singer; the pair met at a Big Bam Boo session) into Banglesque allure over the band's tastefully brisk backing. When the group delves into more mature rock ("Miss Misery"), folk-rock ("Chains of Devotion") and country ("What Will the Angels Say?," its melody evidently cribbed from early Elvis Costello), however, she sings with less of an edge.

[Ira Robbins]