There hasn't been much to get excited about in the world of trip-hop recently, what with Massive Attack sleepwalking themselves into oblivion. Perhaps it is the turn of young upstarts Gramophone to take up the reins. Don't expect anything grondbreaking from this Birmingham three-piece though, they just excel in well-crafted pop in trip-hop environs, helped along the way by an array of additional musicians. At the beginning it's fine enough with 'Mr. T' and 'Dead Girls Don't Say No' speaking of string-laden drama. So far so classy but Gramophone step up a gear when they need to with the menacing 'Lonely Machine' and the uplifting chorus and unusual percussion of 'Hello Kitty'. Thankfully they manage to rectify the brief tail-off in quality (characterised by the sophisticated but dull 'Mercury' and 'Paper Boat') with the considerably perkier 'You Care Too Much' - helped in so small part by the inclusion of a "volcano guitar". The album draws to a close in unusual fashion thanks to 'Brighton Rocks', the nearest the album gets to a bona-fide pop hit; singer Penny McConnell forgetting her earlier studied vocals as she lets loose and really bites those words. Helped in no small part by an immaculate production, this is a record that is warm as well as tasteful.