Label: Warner Records
Saint Etienne tone down the song-free sonic experimentation that marred their worthy debut and deliver an indie-pop album that still takes plenty of chances. "Hug My Soul" is an alternate-universe No. 1 smash while "Like A Motorway" matches cold Continental synths with dry English storytelling. For all of the trio's dancefloor credentials, the finest tracks here are guitar-driven. The almost impossibly beautiful "Marble Lion" and "Former Lover" stand tall as dream pop that actually dares to dream. The entire album doesn't gell, but the mentioned tracks are essential listening.