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Rialto’s self-titled debut picks up where Pulp’s 1996 classic Different Class left off—offering glam-influenced Britpop and vivid lyrics presenting snapshots of 1990s lower-middle class British life. Such is the storytelling strength of the songs that on tracks like “Monday Morning 5:19,” the listener is inevitably drawn into the lives of the songs’ characters in somewhat cinematic fashion. “Broken Barbie Doll” illustrates the lower-class dream run to seed, with the type of resonance so brilliantly practiced by Ray Davies and late Jam era Paul Weller. Musically, Rialto is more than up to the challenge of fleshing out its character studies, employing lush arrangements and vocals by Louis Eliott that share with Jarvis Cocker (Pulp) an ever so slightly strain of seedy irony.

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Sarah Zupko founded PopMatters, one of the largest independent cultural criticism magazines on the web, back in the Internet's early days of 1999. Zupko is a former Executive Producer for Tribune Media Services, the media syndication arm of the Tribune Company, and a 10-year veteran of Tribune. Her other pursuits involve writing historical fiction and research in the fields of Slavic and German history, as well as general European cultural and intellectual history. Zupko studied musicology, film, and drama at the University of Chicago and media theory at the University of Texas, where she received her M.A.


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