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Album Review

Mystery Jets, ‘Serotonin’

By Zeth Lundy
Globe Correspondent / July 19, 2010

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The Eel Pie Island band Mystery Jets may be a little too British to get much love here in the States — too much post-prog panache, not enough gritty harrumph. Their chances of catching on could increase with “Serotonin,’’ a brightly lit third album that’s nuzzled up to the kind of ’80s chic so in vogue these days. Songs like the spritely “The Girl Is Gone’’ and the whistle-laden “Flash a Hungry Smile’’ fall somewhere between Duran Duran and Squeeze, while “Dreaming of Another World’’ plots woozy synths atop its airy refrain. At its best, “Serotonin’’ dresses nostalgia in neatly pressed new clothes; it’s easy to catch yourself singing along as if you’d known some of these songs for half of your life. It’s not exactly a triumph, however, even with veteran producer Chris Thomas (Beatles, Sex Pistols) at the helm. Too often Mystery Jets’ emotional pyrotechnics get the best of them, evidenced on “Waiting on a Miracle’’ and “Alice Springs.’’ If nothing else, the stadium-size yearning will garner some sort of attention. (Out now)

Rock
Mystery Jets, ‘Serotonin’
Rough Trade
ESSENTIAL “Flash a Hungry Smile’’