Forever

Cracker's Forever—the follow-up to last year's two-disc hits-and-misses set Garage d'Or and the band's first collection of all-new material since 1998's Gentleman's Blues—shows David Low

Cracker's Forever—the follow-up to last year's two-disc hits-and-misses set Garage d'Or and the band's first collection of all-new material since 1998's Gentleman's Blues—shows David Lowery and company in fine, refreshed form. Sparklehorse's Mark Linkous co-produced the abstractly beautiful, attention-getting opener, "Brides of Neptune," but the melodious "Shine" and rocking "Guarded by Monkeys" impress just as much. Kiss-off singalongs don't come much better than "Don't Bring Us Down," and the wonderfully wordy "Merry Christmas, Emily" is a holiday love letter that frees up the spirit far better than more hoary carols. Still, there are longueurs here, including a clinker or two ("Superfan," in particular). Cracker sounds like it's having fun again, though, which is underlined by the infectiously ironic group rap "What You're Missing."—BB
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