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Polak
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The dissolution of British band Adorable was a sad event for fans of '80s rock -- the band carried on the tradition of such great bands as Psychedelic Furs and the Jesus and Mary Chain while adding a terrific sense of song and lyric writing (courtesy of singer Pete Fijalkowski). Shortly after that band's breakup, though, Fijalkowski formed Polak, which released several singles sporadically but waited until 2000 to put together Swansongs, its ironically titled debut album. While it's a decent effort, Swansongs has little of the majesty that made Adorable's records so timeless and great. It still has Adorable's sound, not to mention Fijalkowski's unmistakably desperate voice, but Swansongs' songs just aren't quite up to his old band's (or even this band's) earlier material. That said, Swansongs does have undeniable moments of excellence, including the shimmering "Impossible" and the sly, slower "Gutter Song." As a debut, it's not bad -- and certainly no reason to write Polak off -- it's just not up to this band's (or its singer's) hearty potential. Josh Modell

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