MUSIC REVIEWS: The Like

Are You Thinking What I'm Thinking? Geffen
Music •••• Sound ••••
If I told you that the Like is an all-female L.A. pop trio whose ages don't total 60, you'd probably expect the worst: fizzy major-label teen-pop, probably with three Avrils in the same band, right? Wrong.

The Like's full-length CD - which follows three indie EPs - is as fresh, accomplished, and flat-out wonderful a pop debut as you'll hear this year, harking back to Scrawl and Helium. Singer/guitarist Elizabeth "Z" Berg, bassist Charlotte Froom, and drummer Tennessee Thomas are, respectively, the daughters of two maverick producers (Tony Berg, Mitchell Froom) and Elvis Costello's longtime drummer (Pete Thomas). And that's relevant only because their reference points are clearly in great songwriting, not showbiz. Main writer Froom has already developed an individual voice, with songs that brood lyrically and soar melodically. Few new bands could write something as haunting as "Mrs. Actually" and afford to bury it 11 tracks into a CD. Producer Wendy Melvoin adds just enough polish but doesn't lose the freshness of the EPs. At times, the family connections do slip through: the bass-driven "Falling Away," for example, is pure Attractions. Throughout, Berg's emotive singing is pure attraction.

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