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CD Reviews
  • LP3
    Philadelphia's Restorations would probably punch you in your Buddy Holly glasses if you called them emo, but their creatively titled third album proves these bruisers have a sensitive side. When their trio of guitarists aren't busy auditioning for Ozzy or Springsteen, they summon dynamic, smartly-shaded echo caverns more reminiscent of......
  • Way Out Weather
    On the title track to Steve Gunn's superb new LP, cascading guitar and soaring lap steel roll out gently, like the tide he describes: "Waves are crashing calm and free/Slowly moves the melody." Backed by a seven-piece band, he layers his songs with instrumentation that reveals more each time, from the freeform......
  • Rock & Roll Time
    For his follow-up to 2006's Last Man Standing and 2010's Mean Old Man, Jerry Lee Lewis once again invites his famous friends to play on some old favorites. This time, though, he's not in a duetting mood. Lewis relegates the likes of Keith Richards, Robbie Robertson, Neil Young and Nils......
  • 1989
    When Taylor Swift decides to do something, the girl really knows how to overdo it. So on her fifth album, when she indulges her crush on Eighties synth-pop, she goes full blast, spending most of the album trying to turn herself into the Pet Shop Boys. 1989 is a drastic departure......
  • Phantom Radio
    Since his days fronting grunge-era rockers Screaming Trees, baritone growler Mark Lanegan has pursued a raw, doomy primitivism. This is a 21st-century version of the same: Phantom Radio was recorded using an iPhone drum-machine app called FunkBox, and it sounds like a solitary dance party in a serial killer's backwoods shed.......
  • Hungry Ghosts
    OK Go's songs are a lot like their brilliant viral-hit videos: cute, ingeniously crafted and entertaining, but not something you need to experience more than a few times. Their fourth LP veers from Prince-ly falsetto pop ("I'm Not Through") to sweeping alt-rock ("The One Moment") to pretty, acoustic reverie ("Lullaby"),......
  • Ride Out
    New Bob Seger albums don't show up too often (this is his second since 1995). But he's still the same heartland warrior with the same sturdy, elastic rock & roll vision. Ride Out goes from "Detroit Made," a tribute to Motor City automotive ingenuity steeped in Rust Belt rock and soul,......
  • Bestial Burden
    Pharmakon is the New York noise auteur Margaret Chardiet, a true connoisseur of screech. She likes to make her industrial-sounding gadgets scream and howl in agony, an electro-nightmare expression of her inner turmoil. And probably yours, too – if not, she'll make sure you taste the pain before you get......
  • I Forget Where We Were
    English folkie Ben Howard has several EPs and a 2011 album to his name, but this follow-up is his strongest statement yet. From the first discordant strains of "Small Things" to the meditative "All Is Now Harmed," Howard strikes a sure-footed balance between the lilting ballads we've come to expect from......
  • Hozier
    A few months ago, 24-year-old Andrew Hozier-Byrne was a little-known Irish singer-songwriter. But his YouTube hit "Take Me to Church" won him a wave of insta-hype, and his debut LP earns it. Blessed with a sensual singing voice and a seemingly bottomless well of lapsed-Catholic-style conflict, Hozier channels Van Morrison's......
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