Throughout his oscillating career, Bob Mould's clenched-teeth vocals have been readily recognizable. What's changed is the music behind them. From the fury-filled punk-pop of the influential yet ill-fated Hüsker Dü through the orchestral omens of Sugar (and a pair of intermittent walks on the solo side), Mould has been unafraid to adjust his accompaniment, no matter how long it took. Proof positive: It's been three full years since the ambitious yet disappointing Modulate, a dive into the deep end of techno without an on-duty lifeguard. So rejoice that the much-anticipated Body of Song manages, for the most part, to balance both Mould's early employment of impenetrable guitar and the dance-club muse that has recently given him guidance. Sure, "(Shine Your) Light Love Hope" sounds as if it's been arranged for Cher's next farewell tour, but harmony is attained on tracks like "Circles," "Paralyzed," and "Underneath Days," the best song you won't hear on the radio this summer.
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