After the breakup of their previous band, The Eames Era, Ted Joyner and Grant Widmer formed Generationals and indulged their inner hoarders on 2009’s Con Law, appropriating sounds from other bands—like Momus’ herky-jerky misanthropy, or The Shins’ bedroom-bound charm—without putting much personal stamp on any of it. But the new Actor-Caster finds the duo better off for reducing the clutter. The nods to other bands are still pronounced—a little New Pornographers here, some Belle & Sebastian there—but streamlining the superfluous production that marred Con Law has resulted in a shinier, more confident record that isn’t hung up on nostalgia trips. The ever-present handclaps and fluttering synths on “Yours Forever” and the bratty boom-bap of “You Say It Too” veer dangerously close to uncomplicated cutesiness. But for the most part, Actor-Caster’s freshly aired-out sound just makes it easier to locate those perfect pop moments amid all the candy-colored debris.