February 28, 2005 at 05:00 AM EST

Since backing Lisa Loeb in the early-’90s paisley mainstream, Ida’s Daniel Littleton and Elizabeth Mitchell have made quiet albums about simple desires: love, stability, understanding. Their eighth studio effort, the soft-focused Heart Like a River, similarly drifts inward, inventorying a relationship’s peccadilloes while pianos plunk and guitars sigh in stunners like ”Sundown” and ”What Can I Do?” The duo’s voices may be muted by the small tragedies of heartache, but their resolve rings strong and true.

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