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Short takes

EW reviews the latest albums by United State of Electronica, Stereophonics, Aqualung, and Petra Haden

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UNITED STATE OF ELECTRONICA U.S.E. (Sonic Boom) Junior Senior’s ”Move Your Feet” meets Discovery-era Daft Punk on this electro-pop act’s ecstatic debut album. The fizzy fun begins with ”It Is On!” — a synthy trip to euphoria that, we’re pleased to report, is followed by many happy returns. B+

STEREOPHONICS Language. Sex. Violence. Other? (V2) These Britpopsters could shine if they ever figured out a way to showcase singer-guitarist Kelly Jones’ booze-soaked croon. Alas, Language finds his vocals buried behind blocky dance-rock that recalls U2’s sludgy Pop at its densest. D+

AQUALUNG Strange and Beautiful (Red Ink/Columbia) Not a Tull tribute, but a set of gorgeous, lo-fi-Coldplay swoons by British balladeer Matt Hales, highlighted by the must-hear title track. Even when he sings about ”falling out of love,” he sounds enraptured. A-

PETRA HADEN Petra Haden Sings: The Who Sell Out (Bar/None) This L.A. singer has boldly remade Pete Townshend’s favorite Who album a cappellastyle — with stunning results. Leaching out the boombastic arrangements, Haden locates the melancholia in Townshend’s melodies. Her voice — tender and affectless — is like a benediction to the songs’ creators. A-