Sirena

This sophomore set by the maritime-obsessed band Cousteau contains several aquatic metaphors that border on corny; but, overall, Sirena plays as a lush pop album driven by sincere songwriting and catc

This sophomore set by the maritime-obsessed band Cousteau contains several aquatic metaphors that border on corny; but, overall, Sirena plays as a lush pop album driven by sincere songwriting and catchy melodies. And at the center of the set is the honey-smooth baritone of singer Liam McKahey. The beautifully crafted two-disc Sirena has a timeless feel in the spirit of songwriters like Burt Bacharach, Elvis Costello, and Leonard Cohen. At the same time, it possesses a sinister edge in the spirit of Morphine or the Afghan Whigs. The soulful and dramatic opening track, "Nothing So Bad," spotlights McKahey crooning about regret and longing, a perfect song for a heartbroken listener. The single "Talking to Myself" is the true standout with jangly guitars and a singalong chorus that is absolutely infectious. There's also a bonus DVD that includes videos for "Talking to Myself" and "Last Good Day of the Year." The latter was culled from the act's eponymous debut and was also featured in a Nissan commercial.—MS