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No patio party is complete without the debut of Brit sensation Lily Allen.
Thirteen tracks fuse steel drums, tight beats and relaxed rhythms, resulting in a distinctive island-meets-Euro-pop vibe. Lyrically, Allen is lighthearted and sardonic as she deals with the fallout of a broken heart. A close listen is certain to inspire story-swapping about bad breakups and the adventures of dating. Give track 13, a remix of the revenge-induced "Smile" a spin to get your guests groovin'.
"Back to Black"
Amy Winehouse is 100 percent bad girl whose unrelenting sass and soul will transform your step to a strut after listening to just one song. Throw on "Back to Black," and you might find yourself drawing on the eyeliner just a bit thicker before hitting the town. No stranger to hard times and hard liquor, the aptly named Winehouse's "Rehab" is Motown meets modern day with rich, velvety vocals, robust beats and a chorus that is destined to become every party girl's anthem ("They tried to make me go to rehab, but I said 'no, no, no'"). This one will please everyone from your mates to your mama, but be wary of Amy's affinity for the f-word.
The Long Blondes
Someone to Drive You Home
Beggars Banquet US
Don your chunky shades, roll down the windows and blare this disc as you take to the road for a summer excursion. The Long Blondes have the infectious pop sensibility of the GoGo's and the riot-grrl bite of Liz Phair in her earliest days. Guaranteed to be far too cool for radio play, this five-piece import is a juggernaut of jangly guitars, indie-rock spunk and downright fun. Kate Jackson's vocals are confident, sexy and oddly akin to Elastica's Justine Frischmann. While there isn't one disappointing track on this CD, skip to "Giddy Statospheres" to jump-start the road trip and prepare for head-boppin' sing-alongs and the occasional uncontrolled rock-out.