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Pomegranates: Fun With Effortless Precision

The rise of the MP3 might spell doom for the album as an art form, at least where some artists are concerned. But not for Pomegranates: On its second full-length release, Everybody Come Outside, the Cincinnati band has produced not a cobbled-together collection of singles, but a suspenseful novel in lush art-pop form, valuing atmosphere over hooks while continuing to surprise with each innovative twist.

The vastly diverse sounds of Everybody Come Outside mean that no single track can showcase them all, but "Southern Ocean" still stands alone. The tune opens with a catchy, surf-tinged motif, then shifts into a tense second movement, propelling the immaculately crafted plot with anticipation and a rich melody. The band never sacrifices the blithe rock sensibility needed to keep the track afloat: "Southern Ocean" exudes such effortless precision, and such fun, that accomplishing all of that in two and a half minutes isn't even a stretch.

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Afton Woodward