m ** 1/2 Erasure, "Cowboy," Maverick.

With such tasty techno-pop bonbons as "Rain," the veteran British synth-pop duo of Vince Clarke and Andy Bell display their usual flair for melodic vocals and burbly sentimentality. But the album's hooks and musical wit don't dilute the romantic treacle enough, and this glossy mix of pain and earnestness is so sweet it makes your teeth ache. Erasure plays Monday and Tuesday at the Universal Amphitheatre.

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