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LIFE IN A BLENDER (Buy CDs by this artist)
Welcome to the Jelly Days (Fake Doom) 1988

A textbook example of contemporary New Jersey college pop, Life in a Blender brings ample musical (not vocal) skills to witty material on its friendly and lightweight album, nicely produced by ex-Waitress Chris Butler. Don Ralph's nerdy singing (and the occasional embarrassingly adolescent sex lyric) gives the enterprise a certain humility it doesn't really need; his five bandmates' economically neat playing (especially Jon Gregg's crisp guitar work) is hardly ivory tower stuff. On those tracks where Ralph hits his stride and gets a good grip on the melody, Welcome to the Jelly Days is quite enjoyable; the annoyingly amateurish episodes undercut the pleasure but don't ruin the record.

[Ira Robbins]