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Album Review

Advance buzz over the third album by Australian trio the Beautiful Girls was that the once primarily acoustic trio was plugging in and turning up in an attempt to move away from the "mellow jam band" tag and consistent Ben Harper and Jack Johnson comparisons they were getting. Well, Ziggurats is indeed a bit noisier; opening track "Royalty" even features a ton of distorted power chords. But at heart, the songs on Ziggurats are pretty much entirely the same as they would have been if they had appeared on earlier Beautiful Girls albums. The same cod-reggae beat underpins songs like "Sir, Your Fashion Has the Cold Heart of a Killer" (though, to be fair, points for the song title) and "Bring Me Your Cup," and singer/songwriter Mat McHugh (who with the addition of new drummer Bruce Braybrooke is now the band's sole original member) still sings like he's imitating Sting imitating Bob Marley. Anyone still looking for Police albums with all the interesting or quirky bits sanded away in favor of nothing but a certain brand of easy listening skank will be all over Ziggurats. Those with an allergy to Trustafarians, hacky sacks, and patchouli oil are advised to stay well away.


Formed: 2001 in Sydney, Australia

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s

Centered around singer/songwriter Mat McHugh, the eclectic Australian rock group Beautiful Girls make rootsy, folk-inflected pop that has drawn comparisons to such like-minded artists as Ben Harper, Jack Johnson, and Mason Jennings. Formed in 2002, the band put out the mini-album Morning Sun and the five-track limited-edition EP Good Times before releasing their first full-length album, Learn Yourself, on San Dumo in 2003. A year later, the...
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Ziggurats, The Beautiful Girls
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