The Brunettes are too cute for their own good. This slick-sounding album has all the requisite cool pop references, but ultimately they're just references, and the lyrical fluff of nudge-nudge, wink-wink music geek jokes doesn't do much to give it depth.
It was probably their intent to make a pop album about pop, and certain listeners will love it for that, but it's questionable whether they'll still find song titles like Obligatory Road Song clever in a couple of years.
The record does sound great, though, and there are some reasonably good hooks. It's the lack of emotion that ruins it; it's a pretty record, but it's also pretty vacant. The title describes it perfectly - structure and cosmetics, and not much more.
The Brunettes play the Horseshoe Friday (September 28).