Music » Critics' Picks

I, Colossus

9 p.m. Wednesday, January 16. Bluebird, 2706 Olive Street.

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On I, Colossus' self-titled debut, singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer Matthew Sandstedt manages a challenging feat: He crafts songs that could satisfy the populace at an exclusive dance club. But they also retain enough human energy and organic instrumentation to make them good candidates for a rock club stage. Sandstedt's snarly (but always pitch-perfect) falsetto channels Muse's Matthew Bellamy or even Justin Timberlake — and both comparisons make sense, considering the Minneapolis band's smooth transitions between prog-influenced arrangements and danceable pop hooks. The mid-tempo "You and I" slides dangerously close to the land of über-trendy sushi-bar electro, but its careful use of dynamics, smart chord modulations (think Kid A or Aphex Twin) and slightly dissonant guitar harmonies comes to the rescue.

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