In Brief

*** 1/2 Cowboy Junkies, "Miles From Our Home," Geffen. Wistfully sad yet resiliently hopeful, the Toronto quartet's delicate country- and blues-infused pop is as atmospheric as ever on its eighth album. The grooves may be more insistent, and the production surprisingly lush, but the collection stays spiritually true to the group's trademark spare intensity. The band plays Aug. 20 at Royce Hall.

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Albums are rated on a scale of one star (poor) to four stars (excellent).

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Hear the Music

Excerpts from these albums and other recent releases are available on The Times' World Wide Web site. Point your browser to: http://www.latimes.com/soundclips

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