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CD REVIEW

The So and So's: Give Me Drama

Chemsford native Meghan Toohey's rise from guitar-slinging gadabout to serious rock musician becomes official with the release of ``Give Me Drama,'' her new band's full-length debut. After years as a solo artist flirting with pop, folk, and singer-songwriter fare, the 26-year-old songwriter and multi-instrumentalist has formally joined forces with her longtime bassist Rodrigo Monterrey, drummer Chris Hobbick, and guitarist Jay Barclay to make an atmosphere-drenched alt-rock album that's inspired, from beginning to end, by its own title. These are songs of experience, heavy with edge and plump with hooks, and the collection unfolds with the sort of clear, complex vision that's eluded Toohey so far. ``Oceans In Between'' is the album's literal and figurative centerpiece, an ambient study in craft and longing that brings Toohey's porcelain strength into relief. Blipping, beeping ``Dark Day'' and the woozy verses (and delicious buried remix) of ``Tattoo'' find a bristling still point between simmer and swagger. Toohey's not your typical rock singer; the jazz shimmy in her girlish voice infuses more straight-ahead fare such as ``Better'' and ``Westside'' - the latter a winsome pop-rocker co-written with Josh Ritter - with a dark elegance that suggests a bright future. The So and So's play April 2 at Bill's Bar.

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