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Aurora Gory Alice

Letters to Cleo

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Album Review

Spirited and warm pop songs populate the full-length debut of Letters to Cleo. Like fellow Bostonian Juliana Hatfield, Letters pull off simple, cute pop hooks with a powerful rock band approach. On Aurora Gory Alice, however, restraint is the name of the game, and it comes off as a somewhat flawed but ultimately endearing record. Crooner Kay Hanley dexterously adapts her versatile vocals to fit the band's varying dynamics. Letters' debut single, "I See," is reprised for the album, but its big sales draw ended up being the speedy chorus of "Here and Now," a hit off the Melrose Place soundtrack a year after Aurora's release. Other notable tunes include the curious "From Under the Dust" and acoustic closer "Step Back."

Biography

Formed: 1990 in Boston, MA

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Melding hooky pop songs with the muscled approach of a rock band, Letters to Cleo formed in Boston in 1990. Guitarist Greg McKenna actually started Letters to Cleo as another group; when he began searching for a background singer to complete his lineup, he found Kay Hanley. A powerhouse vocalist who had previously performed in a local new wave group, Hanley remained with McKenna after the original band fell apart several months later. The band adopted a peppy power pop sound as well as a new name,...
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Aurora Gory Alice, Letters to Cleo
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