In her own subtle way, Carol van Dijk was a sex symbol -- the early-'90s indie dream girlfriend for anyone with the good sense to be afraid of Liz Phair. Shall we count the ways? The main singer-songwriter for the Dutch quartet Bettie Serveert has a slightly smoky voice made from the same ringing stuff of icons, but none of the brassiness that makes for celebrity. Her songs, even at their most gentle, somehow remain tough, avoiding the emotional exhibitionism of many female singers in favor of empathy. And her band's sound is informed by a bin full of great bands -- Big Star, Velvet Underground, the Pretenders -- but its brand of muscular jangle has never copied any of those influences. Intermittently affected by the studio craft that dulled its 2000 effort, Private Suit, Bettie Serveert's latest (and sixth) album, Attagirl, nonetheless contains tunes up there with van Dijk's best. Oh ... and she's, um, still a babe.