While the happiness on Hot Hot Heat's new album might be limited, listeners who are familiar with the band's hooky, dance-y past are likely to feel plenty of frustration.

While the happiness on Hot Hot Heat's new album might be limited, listeners who are familiar with the band's hooky, dance-y past are likely to feel plenty of frustration. Steve Bays' distinctive whine shows itself every so often before flattening out into a bland monotone. The second track and first single, "Let Me In," sounds dull and strained. It's almost redeemed by a re-recording of "5 Times Out of a 100," which appeared on the 2002 EP "Knock Knock Knock." Alas, after this brief bright spot, the record descends back into mediocrity, with little of the inspiration so present on 2002's "Make Up the Breakdown." The band has claimed this record is a throwback to their electro days after the radio-friendly major-label debut "Elevator"; unfortunately, it seems to have gotten stuck somewhere in the middle. -- Cortney Harding

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