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Drugstore , 6/10
White Magic For Lovers , 6/10
Songs For The Jet Set , 6/10

Drugstore, founded by vocalist Isabel Monteiros (Brazil via Britain) and drummer Michael Chylinski, is a British band that plays atmospheric country-rock in the vein of Cowboy Junkies and Mazzy Star, albeit filtered through a shoegazing sensibility. The singles Alive (Honey), Modern Pleasure and Starcrossed (Go Discs) led to debut album Drugstore (Go DIscs, 1995), a work of subtle seduction that employs a skewed strategy a` la Pixies (Superglider, Nectarine, Solitary Party Groover, Fader). The album betrays a Velvet Underground fixation, both with Lou Reed's decadent boogie and Nico's icy litanies. Guitarist Daron Robinson is a mere accessory. The album was followed by the single Injection.

New acquisition cellist Ian Burdge is, instead, quite crucial to the success of White Magic For Lovers (Roadrunner, 1998), a more eclectic work whose noisy Mondo Cane ("We all turn into ashes/ Welcome to the show") and catchy Say Hello are hardly representative of the rest: the flamenco of El President (a duet with Radiohead's Thom Yorke), the bossanova of Never Come Down, the waltz of The Funeral. Monteiros' voice flows like a waterfall.

The tango of I Wanna Love You Like A Man is the natural continuation of that album's program on Songs For The Jet Set (Global Warming, 2001), but no less seductive are Song For The Lonely and Baby Don't Hurt Yourself (with Lambchop's Paul Niehaus on pedal-steel). Continuing as well their Velvet Underground tribute, The Party Is Over, Allegro Ma Non Troppo and Hate are spirited ditties that could fit on the first Velvet Underground album.

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