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MUSIC REVIEW: Musical revenge

There's nothing quite like an artist's bitter breakup to give ussomething to celebrate. They wallow in agony, and we soak up theSchadenfreude.

Swedish singer/songwriter Daniel Cirera gives us a particularlyunfinessed look at what he thinks about his former girlfriend, andneither of the two exes comes off looking like much on "Honestly; ILove You I *Cough*."

She was apparently a callous two-timer, and he was an oversexed,overgrown boy. (Sounds like they deserved each other.)

Since few of us will be dating Cirera, we can get a charge out ofhis mudslinging on the expletive-laden opening track (and Europeansingle) that includes "Fake-Vegetarian Ex-Girlfriend" in its title.It's a novelty song of sorts that features Cirera softly strumming hisacoustic guitar and using his vulnerable vocals to deploy asweet-melody hook that cuts the skank to the bone.

"Honestly; I Love You cough" doesn't let her go with that onetrack, either. The ol' gal gets hammered on "Dog," where Cireralongs for a canine because "girls are such a drag," and again withthe generic escapism of "Roadtrippin," where backpacking somehowsubstitutes for love. And on "Why," heartbreak and self-stimulationgo hand-in-hand, so to speak, as Cirera seems to miss the sex morethan the girl.

The performer's meek voice is a curious contrast to his stronglanguage, and he's also prone to Europop cheesiness in his lyrics, ason the awkward and blurry nostalgia trip "1992."

Yet Cirera's individualism works in interesting ways, too. Heexplores a subtly sensual lower range on the fantasy "She Rules theSchool" and ties it to electronic thrusts reminiscent of KylieMinogue's "Can't Get You Out of My Head." And his jazz-filtered,gentle cover of Sex Pistols' "Anarchy in the UK" isn't half bad,though purists would hate it.

Overall, "Honestly; I Love You *Cough*" is consistently off-kilterwith mixed results. If nothing else, it offers a valuable lesson:Cheat on an immature singer-songwriter, and you're going to pay.

"Honestly, I Love You *Cough*" is released by Tommy Boy.

Rating: 3 (out of possible five)