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album review | ROCK

The dB’s, ‘Falling off the Sky’

Credit the reunion of The dB’s, who split up during the Reagan administration, to the long friendship of Peter Holsapple and Chris Stamey. For years, fans of the cult band have known that the original four — Holsapple, Stamey, bassist Will Rigby, and drummer Gene Holder — were recording. The good news: “Falling” evokes the band’s best work without sounding dated. As usual, Holsapple and Stamey write separately, their voices rarely crossing. Stamey remains indebted to his hero Alex Chilton, from his nasal delivery to his gift for mixing hooks with the moody and experimental. Hand claps and electric guitar drive “Before We Were Born”; strings and harmonies frame “Far Away and Long Ago.” Holsapple’s got one of rock’s great voices, with a timeless quality of teenage yearning; his “I Didn’t Mean to Say That” is jangle-pop at its best. And Rigby’s first lead with the band, “Write Back,” is a humorous tale of romantic woe in the Internet age. (Out Tuesday) GEOFF EDGERS



ESSENTIAL
“I Didn’t Mean to Say That”

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