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A FRISKY VALENTINE: As rock stars go, Beck -- with his blank stare and boyish presence -- may not strike the pose of a conventional entertainment-style sex symbol. But his latest CD, Midnight Vultures is a sexy romp that lays flirtatious lyrics over a modern pastiche of hip-shaking sounds. He uses funky horns, libidinous rhythms, and suggestive wordplay to create a fervent sound that's as physically stimulating as a dance floor of gyrating, bumping bodies. Lyrically, he sends out toasts to porn stars and tells his girlfriend to bring her sister, all of it setting up a deliciously mischievous milieu.

A STEAMY VALENTINE: With a name like Faithless, the British electronica quartet may not seem likely to inspire romance. But the band's innovative new two-CD release certainly goes to great lengths to provide a lustful late-night setting. The extended work repackages the band's 1998's mix of trip-hop and dance floor rave-ups, Sunday 8 p.m. with another CD, Sunday 3 a.m., that gives the same songs a decidedly darker, steamier sound. By slowing tempos and adding layers of Jamaican dub rhythms and other sexy sound effects, the CD follows the party-orientation of its original collection with another diskette meant for more private pursuits. / Issue 5 - September 8082
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