Breaks Co-Op The Sound Inside

Much changed for Breaks Co-Op in the eight years between their debut record and The Sound Inside: where they were once an electronic duo, they’ve now got an extra member and play softly sung laidback adult acoustic jams, the kind of music college students might be unfortunately inclined to describe as "chill.” The changeup worked commercially, as the record promptly went double platinum in the band’s native New Zealand, thanks only in part to the fame of founding member Zane Lowe, a UK TV presenter and radio host. The record’s success can also be attributed to its aggressive inoffensiveness, its unwavering dedication to only slightly noticeable by-the-numbers acoustic rock. In fact, if it were sold by the register at Starbucks it could go double platinum Stateside too. The record features the kind of soft strums, hand-slapped drums and unobtrusive vocals (with empty lyrics, natch) that guarantee entry into the playlists of people who don’t really like music everywhere. The players are acceptable musicians, and the production is fittingly smooth, but based on The Sound Inside, Breaks Co-Op has little to say and no interesting way to say it. (EMI)