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The Loud Family and Anton Barbeau 

What If It Works? (125 Records)

Being a critics' darling can have its disadvantages — especially when it feels like only the critics are paying attention. So when Scott Miller disbanded the Loud Family in 2000 after five wonderful albums of complex power pop, it was sad for us rabid fans — but perfectly understandable in the face of waning sales and an indifferent record label. But for What If It Works?, the Loud Family's first album in six years, Miller is surrounded by support: He's on a small label run in part by his webmaster, and he's added fellow critical darling Anton Barbeau (a Sacramento musician) to the lineup. Compared to such past opuses as Interbabe Concern, What If It Works? is relatively low-key; there are no grand ambitions or overriding themes, and the most meta things get is when a cover of the Rolling Stones' "Rocks Off" is followed by the tune "Song About Rocks Off." But this is a concise selection of typically catchy originals that should easily please longtime Loud Family fans — and hopefully set the stage for a lasting comeback.

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