Patrick & Eugene, Postcard from Summerisle

It's got a big helping of British whimsy but that gimmick dies quick. Lead-in "The Birds and the Bees" is a genuinely zippy earworm that deserves all the airplay and ad spots it's wound up in (like the one with VWs multiplying like, er, Rabbits), and "A Dog's Tale" is a cute little number from the view of man's best friend — even if it rips off the same basic hook. On the other hand, most of the rest of the album is afflicted by overwrought style pastiches that are skillful but don't really gel ("Circus Train" and "Tribal" in particular but also the ponderous Flanders-and-Swann wannabe "Old Times"), and they have rather suspect choices in covers: the retread of Kylie Minogue (!)'s "Can't Get You Out of My Head" bops along credibly enough but their version of the "59th Street Bridge Song" is pedestrian and their Beyoncé (!!) cover of "Crazy in Love" is obnoxious. Despite the obvious instrumental and engineering talent here it didn't really seem to translate into anything very engaging. CD issues include a single "pop mix" of "The Birds and the Bees" plus another interminable instrumental "Garden of Love," though there are a few impressively atmospheric moments of note. (Content: mild adult themes in "Crazy in Love.")