Cousteau Sirena

As with their self-titled debut album from last year, Cousteau's second album is a charming mix of saturnine passion fit for any late night drink at a piano bar. The Scott Walker and Tindersticks influences are still around and kicking, but with Sirena, Cousteau has learned to explore other areas of interest. "Talking To Myself," the album's first single, is the finest example. From the first note of the song the band seems to have found another outlet, channelling the spirit of classic Bowie for this change in mood. Yet the rock quickly ends there, switching to the more depressed and lonesome drinker climate. There's some Bacharach, "(Damn These) Hungry Times," and Chet Baker, "Salome," displayed as well, giving it a healthy musical environment, but some more of the rock factor from the opening track would have helped to keep things interesting. For this ride becomes kind of tiresome after you begin mistaking the next song from the previous one. (Palm Pictures)