Love Songs of the Hanging Gardens (Environ)

Kelley Polar is a classical-music prodigy with a taste for techno, a duality that got him booted out of Juilliard. But classical music's loss is avant-house music's gain. Love Songs is the result of Polar taking his classical chops (gorgeous Jeff Buckley-as-a-choir-boy vocals and winding string passages) and bedding them down in the spacey funk of Metro Area producer Morgan Geist, whoelped weave the same techno blanket around Kings of Convenience's Erlend Oye two years ago. True to its name, Love Songs hangs as it grows. Tracks bounce between jubilant tech-house ("Here in the Night") to sweetly vacuum-pitched vocal displays ("My Beauty in the Moon") that sound like-and this is a compliment-the Manhattan Transfer updated for the Crobar crowd. Polar is just as enthusiastic about an analog rinse-out like "Vocalise (Fromere to Polarity)," which sounds like aelium-pinched Simply Red jamming with Mr. Oizo, ase is about turning the vocal mike off and making an off-the-wall cut like "The Rooms in Myouseave Many Parties," one that Matthewerbert would be proud of. This one's worth the effort -- his and yours. Hobey Echlin

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