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Record Rack

February 17, 2001|KEVIN BRONSON

** 1/2 Fonda, "The Strange and the Familiar," Hidden Agenda. One scoop Brit-pop and one scoop unabashed sweetness, Fonda's frothy concoction treads the line between wistful and wondrous--thematically and stylistically. Not as exuberant as Echobelly, as out-of-breath as Sleeper or as dreamy as Lush, Emily Cook's vocals nonetheless soar achingly, hovering just beyond the reach of guitars that are alternately shimmery and echoey, chiming and jangling. On "Summer Land (Be My Love)," the London native and guitarist-vocalist Dave Klotz (from Pittsburgh) convey the disconnect felt by many transplants to Los Angeles.

*

Albums are rated on a scale of one star (poor), two stars (fair), three stars (good) and four stars (excellent). The albums are already released unless otherwise noted.

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