Sunny Day Real Estate
Diary
(Sub Pop)

The artwork on this CD, depicting the harrowing daily events of little Playskool figurines, is worth the price of admission. Sunny Day's material is a lot less funny; sort of like Tiny Tim's little crutch being consumed by termites on Christmas Eve. Lyrics are of the "you cut, I bleed" variety. Taken one track at a time, this CD's simple virtues reveal themselves. Taken as a whole, this collection will remind you why you got rid of that first Cowboy Junkies album.

Boingo
Boingo
(Giant)

If you're one of those people who's always found Boingo's music as annoying as its name, take heart. They've become less annoying! The cloying cleverness of yesteryear still manifests itself with "Insanity," the opening track. On this ode to mental instability, Danny Elfman momentarily forgets where he is and starts playing incidental music he's already scored for Batman: The Animated Series. But the spookiness of "Lost Like This," and the pop sheen of "Mary" and "Spider," more than make up for prior deficiency. Other shrewd pop turns include the single "Hey!", which has probably already fooled fans of Smashing Pumpkins. You'll also find a perfunctory cover of "I Am the Walrus" (which sounds like Paul Shaffer between commercial breaks) and "Change," a 16-minute opus that doesn't seem 16 minutes long, mainly because it keeps fading in and out.

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