Music: A Loose Federation

The way rock groups break up and reassemble these days, it sometimes seems that the entire rock world is an endless long-chain molecule. And a highly unstable one at that. Most of the talk in the pop world last year sounded as uncertain as dialogue for the comics: Look, up there on the stage, it's a duo, it's a trio —no, it's supergroup.

The premise behind the supergroup was heroic: big stars shedding their sidemen to jam together in Olympian bliss. Trouble occurred when the heat from all that bliss grew unbearably intense. The promising...

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