Any band who has their sense of humor together enough to mockingly applaud mullets (upon sight) en masse, is cool in my book. Add to that a serious songwriting skill and sweeping orchestral backing and you have the fourth album from Glasgow's The Delgados. Seemingly named after ex-Tour de France champion, Pedro Delgado, the band has moved on from cycling-themed albums (Domestiques, Peleton) and on to 2000's Mercury Music Prize-nominated The Great Eastern and this year's US release, Hate. Although the album hit shelves in the UK last year, the record full of the tag-team vocal beauty of Alun Woodward and Emma Pollock sounds as fresh as ever and Mantra/Beggars even throws on two US-only tracks to reward you for waiting. The Scots have a serious way with a tune, infusing the songs with melancholic string and choral arrangements, hitting you squarely in the chest with each passing song. The two singers alternate lead vocals and sing backing vocals for each other, their voices intermingling in a truly unique way. They even have a song, "All You Need Is Hate," that sounds like "Let Your Love Flow" by '70s country rockers The Bellamy Brothers. How do you top that?
JEREMY P. GOLDSTEIN