London brit-pop refugees Gene drop their first studio album in the US in five years this week with the introduction of Libertine. The album was first released in the UK late last year, but to sweeten the deal for the US market, the iMUSIC version that found its way to the shelves this week has four tracks not found on the UK version, including album opener "Let Me Move On," a jangly, quintessentially Gene track that showcases the distinctive tones of frontman Martin Rossiter. A number of songs on this album, their first studio work since the underrated Revelations in 1999 (although 1997's Drawn To The Deep End was the last to see domestic release), are worth your time, from the catchy "Yours For The Taking" to the Style Council-esque "Walking In The Shallows." Hidden track "Who Said This Was The End" and UK single "Is It Over?" prove Rossiter and company still have the ability to pull heartstrings with the best of them. Libertine shows the band in a musical space different than past work, but the album still will call to those who signed on early in the band's career, along with new converts.
JEREMY P. GOLDSTEIN