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Geez, is Georgia turning into a pop capitol or what? There's that whole Elephant 6 bunch over in Athens (you know, Olivia Tremor Control and their buddies--plus, of course, the crown princes of alternative rock, R.E.M.). Now Athen's western neighbor, Atlanta, is getting into the act with the recent release by the Tender Idols and now Floraline. With an obvious debt to 80s new-wave, Floraline is a member of a whole new coterie of synth pop-enamored Roland-philes (doesn't Joy Electric come to mind?), that have one foot in the new wave of OMD and another in the sophisticated Europop and lounge stylings of folks on the Siesta label. Thankfully, they do more than rehash old formulas, however. Floraline shares with Swedish pop groups like The Cardigans (the early stuff) and Cloudberry Jam a love of sweet melodies and jazz-based harmonic structures, not surprising perhaps given vocalist Linda Sharp's jazz background. All Swedish pop comparisons aside, Sharp's vocals are far more sultry than Nina Persson's (Cardigans) and the music is a bit funkier as well, with bubbling, analog synthesizers, groovy rhythms, and those ever present jazzy chords.

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