By David Browne
June 11, 2004 at 04:00 AM EDT

Sonic Nurse

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On the latest from these alt-rock stalwarts, all the customary elements are in place: the luxuriously entangled guitars, the beat-derived poetry, the feedback attacks, Kim Gordon’s spooky whisper. But what’s also here, on a CD that advances the fluid lyricism of 2002’s Murray Street, is tauter songwriting, a relaxed professionalism, and, in a true sign of maturity, a surprisingly sympathetic ode to Mariah Carey’s career meltdown. No big revelations, but plenty of rewards.

Sonic Nurse

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