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Bishop Allen: Confectioner's Pop

Christian Rudder and Justin Rice were once Harvard classmates, but since then, they and a rotating cast of musicians have been playing sweet indie-pop confections under the name Bishop Allen.

On its third full-length album, the Brooklyn-based band returns to a stripped-down sound that recalls its debut, Charm School. Though the disc is titled Grrr..., there's nothing threatening about it: Its peppy melodies are framed by sing-along vocals, quirky approaches to wordplay, a solid rock foundation and lyrics about the reliable yet relatable subject of trying to grow up. Along the way, the use of minimalistic keys, strings, horns and marimba adds a distinct richness to otherwise simple tunes.

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