Singer/songwriter/guitarist/sometime law student Elizabeth Elmore has chosen an oddly appropriate name for her latest incarnation after the dissolution of her buzz band, Sarge. With the indie-rock rumor mill working overtime when it comes to speculation about which direction she might head, Elmore's new Reputation takes a strong step forward with "To Force a Fate." She finesses the pain of breakup into the promise of springtime as she asks if she "deserves this" ("March"), as she lies alone in bed. Elmore mixes catchy pop tunes in with edgier rockers, but she saves her edge for those times when attitude is necessary, whether it's for rumormongers or ex-lovers. "The Ugliness Kicking Around" and "Bone-Tired" also offer evidence of a lyrically maturing songwriter, at least enough to hope that Elmore gives up on law school.
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