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British Sea Power: For Those Who Like to Rock

The title of British Sea Power's new album — Do You Like Rock Music? — feels like an invitation rather than a question: Judging from the album's contents, the answer had better not be no. Channeling U2 in the best ways, "Lights Out for Darker Skies" dispenses anthemic power chords without skimping on the complexities.

Lyrically, "Lights Out for Darker Skies" is all impressions of light and rebellion against the dark: "Welcome for the day you'll stay forever / There's things we all need to navigate / The daisy chains of lights around the city now / They glow but never quite illuminate." A few weak rhymes aside ("Unless 2007 / becomes a pitch-black heaven"), the overall illumination persists, as listeners are drawn back in with a half-chorus: "So dance like sparks from the muzzle, oh / and fall like sparks from the muzzle, hey."

As the music spreads thin and shifts to a more muted glow, lines such as "And we will live by kerosene / And we will live by acetylene" prompt the lighter brigade to get ready to sway. But the song builds again, the flames reach higher, and British Sea Power returns to its pumping opening lines, pushing harder and faster toward an inevitable screeching burnout.

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Claire Blaustein
Claire Blaustein is a freelance writer and music critic who writes for a variety of publications, including The Washington Post, Exclaim! Magazine and La Scena Musicale. She came to NPR as a Performance Today intern in 2005, and has thus far refused to leave. When not doing any of the above, she writes in her blog, I Dig Music..., and pouts until someone gives her a new CD to play with.