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Danish sextet Embellish aren't going to win any awards for their groundbreaking originality, but that's not what they're really about, anyway. What they're about is putting together sensationally catchy pop songs with no greater agenda than putting a smile on your sour little face, and for that they deserve many awards because they do an extraordinarily good job. If you've got a heart and a brain, you'll love singer Claus Hansen's melon-sweet, oh-so-sincere emoting, backed by dual female harmonies provided by Thora Thisen and Julie Wellejus, who offer mostly "ooh-ooohs" and "bop-de-bops," bothering only occasionally with actual words. Behind all the appealing harmonizing is a rich foundation of delicious jangle-pop that's the heir to the rich tradition of English melodic rock spanning from Herman's Hermits to The Housemartins. As mentioned above, they're from Denmark, but you wouldn't blink an eye if someone told you they called Manchester of Liverpool home.

Embellish is also a little bit weird, though you have to listen carefully to hear it. Perhaps all the blissful pop perfection has caused the group's sense of reality to deliquesce ever so slightly. Take the featured "Ambivalence," for instance, which features an incredibly catchy power-pop chorus that goes "So get down on your knees and let me penetrate you from behind." Whoa! "Water Lung," a bombastic song about drowning, is -- ahem -- embellished with water sounds, including the sound of a drowning man choking for air. Double whoa! Both songs come from the group's debut full-length, Wake Me Up!, which came out in early 2000.

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