Review - Rialto

Artist: Rialto

The unmistakable influence of James Bond composer John Barry on the current crop of melodic Britpop has rebirthed a romantic paranoia in the hearts of many a well-dressed man.

In line with that trend, the debut release from Rialto coifs its tales of miserable love in towering orchestral flourishes that sparkle and drone. If you were an angel, I would cut off your wings, offers vocalist Louis Eliot on "Untouchable." On "The Underdogs," Eliot goes as far as to snottily assert, To be bitter and alone is such a dirty little job. We're jaded to our brittle bones, cos we are the underdogs -- not exactly the stuff that simple pop is made of. But that's what makes Rialto so charming.

When it's all over the drama wins out with a sad summation of the bitter end on "Milk of Amnesia" -- through the bottom of the glass the world looks so far away.

With such elevated wits and wallows so pristinely executed, Rialto carries its torch -- and British pop in general -- to a whole new level.