Welcome to Extended Play, a weekly feature here on the Music Mix wherein our intrepid staffers review albums and album-related products that didn’t fit into the magazine. Think of it as “bonus materials.” That works for DVD sales all the time. Don’t forget to stream the “Download This” selections while you’re reading the reviews, for a true cross-platform multimedia extravaganza!
This week: Meg & Dia, Here, Here and Here.
Meg & Dia
Here, Here and Here
Rock (Warner Bros.)
What started as an acoustic project for sisters Meg and Dia Frampton — sadly, no relation — has blossomed into a real live rock band of the Warped Tour kingdom (Paramore phylum), beloved by a dedicated battalion of MySpace fans who will no doubt be delighted by the latest evolution in their ever-swelling sound. But on this third record, the Framptons change styles the way a teenage girl changes clothes: There’s a no-frills duet with Tom Higgenson from Plain White T’s (“Bored of Your Love”), an inexplicable hoedown (“Agree to Disagree”), and what sounds like a leftover Pink song from 2004 (“Kiss You Good Night”). It’s Dia’s voice that holds it together — a classic, clear belt that does sweet as well as it does pissed off, and excels at the pop-punk confessional form. The next step is writing songs to let it rise above the masses. B- — Whitney Pastorek
Download This: “Hug Me”