Channels Open

Joining the ranks of other super cool couples who make terrific music together (Kim Gordon and Thurston Moore, Tina Weymouth and Chris Franz, George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley) are J. Robbins and Janet Morgan, the singing, guitar and bass team that propels Channels. In the wake of the demise of Burning Airlines and Jawbox before that, Robbins has landed with a solid band, as he always does, that features his inimitable and distinctive songwriting and playing style. Almost as punk as Jawbox and nearly as weird as Burning Airlines, Channels is a perfect fusion of the Robbins elements. But it also reveals a new pop dynamic, with the closest thing to a power ballad he’s ever produced, the acoustic guitar-anchored "Fear Is a Man’s Best Friend,” that showcases Morgan’s soaring vocal talents. (DeSoto)