When Meg Frampton wrote “Monster,” the rocking pop tune that opens Something Real , she was thinking about John Steinbeck's '50s novel East of Eden. When she wrote “Indiana,” she was inspired by the book of the same name, written by George Sand. So Meg & Dia do stuffy library-rock, right? Wrong.

Meg may be fond of classic literature, but she has top-of-the-pops in mind when she gives songs like “Masterpiece” to Dia to sing, and little sister can sing her heart out. Dia often sounds like Alanis Morissette (without the venom) or like '70s sweetheart Olivia Newton-John, not exactly innocent but not overtly sexy either.

While most of Something Real is carefully crafted for pop radio airplay, one of the most striking tunes is more suited to fans of Norah Jones. The samba-like “Cardigan Weather” gives Dia a chance to show off her range while Meg shines on acoustic guitar. The song blows away any type of limitation that cynics may try to impose on the band.

Grade: B