R.E.M. | Accelerate (Warner Bros.)

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Written by Justin Crouse Thursday, 03 April 2008 03:04

rem-accelerate.jpgWhat truly distinguishes Accelerate from its 13 predecessors is its live, raucous sound.



Black 47 | Iraq (United For Opportunity)

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Written by Jason Green Tuesday, 01 April 2008 05:35

black47.jpgKirwan and company checked their anger and righteous indignation at the door, avoiding the kind of sweeping anti-war generalizations that would have hoisted the album on its own well-meaning petard.



Poi Dog Pondering | 7 (Platetechtonic)

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Friday, 28 March 2008 08:24

poidogpondering.jpgOn 7, Frank Orrall and company bring the energy to the forefront and deliver a collection made for the concert stage.

Holly Long | Leaving Kansas (Self-Released)

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Friday, 28 March 2008 07:59

hollylong.jpgLeaving Kansas is clearly the creation of an artist who has suffered and conquered the trials of life.

PacificUV| Longplay 2 (Warm)

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Friday, 28 March 2008 07:42

pacificuv.jpgIt’s a perfect starry-night drive record.

The Switches | Lay Down the Law (Interscope)

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Written by Josh Schobert Sunday, 23 March 2008 14:41

cd_switches.jpgThe most recognizable thing about The Switches is their haunting harmonies and overly poppy choruses.



Sian Alice Group | 59:59 (The Social Registry)

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Written by Kevin Renick Sunday, 23 March 2008 14:38

cd_sian-alice.jpgThis record feels alive, aware and somehow incredibly wise in its sonic reach.



Lucy Bland | Down to Sea Level (s/r)

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Written by Alex Bates Friday, 21 March 2008 19:51

cd_lucy-bland.jpgLucy Bland's first full-length album, Down to Sea Level, could definitely use some help staying afloat.



Haale | No Ceiling (s/r)

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Written by Ryan Parker Friday, 21 March 2008 19:49

cd_haale.jpgThe two main elements of No Ceiling are Haale's vocals and percussionist/producer Matt Kilmer's rhythm.



The Kills | Midnight Boom (Domino Records)

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Thursday, 13 March 2008 04:02

kills.jpgMidnight Boom is a sexually-charged rock'n'roll tornado that'll shake you up and leave you panting for more.


Under Byen | Siamesisk (Paper Bag)

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Written by Josh Vise Wednesday, 05 March 2008 07:08

cd_under-byen.jpgIt's as if Under Byen tapped into the same vein as Portishead.



Silje Nes | Ames Room (FatCat)

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Written by Kevin Renick Wednesday, 05 March 2008 07:03

cd_silje-nes.jpgWhat you get here is a sweet, melodic sound vapor that clears your system of all things negative and cynical every time you inhale the Silje Nes secret brew.



These Are Powers | Terrific Seasons (Hoss)

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Written by Kevin Renick Wednesday, 05 March 2008 07:00

cd_these-are-powers.jpgIt may be a sonic assault, but the emphasis is on stellar soundmaking, not aural bullying. There's a difference, see.



The Raveonettes | Lust Lust Lust (Vice)

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Written by Kevin Renick Wednesday, 05 March 2008 06:57

cd_raveon.jpg"Aly, Walk With Me" features the sort of classic jangly distortion you've heard tons of bands do, but it sounds awesome here—exposed wires emanating a thrilling buzz that you dare not get too close to (though you kind of want to).


Quiet Life | Act Natural (Safety Meeting)

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Written by Josh Schobert Wednesday, 27 February 2008 05:38

cd_quiet-life.jpgBy "Were You Singing," they show they can be more than just a country folk band by making a danceable rock track.



Soft | Gone Faded (Academy Fight Song/Silver Sleeve)

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Written by Jason Green Wednesday, 27 February 2008 05:16

cd_soft.jpgI was hooked, listening to the scant four songs on their MySpace page a few dozen times as I waited patiently for a copy of the full length to arrive.



White Hinterland | Phylactery Factory (Dead Oceans)

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Written by Todd McKenzie Wednesday, 27 February 2008 05:14

cd_white-hinter.jpgDienel's voice, like a bird's, is often fluttering and flittering about in the highest registers, which is a shame because it masks her lyrics behind the clouds.



The Playing Favorites | I Remember When I Was Pretty (Suburban Home)

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Written by Jason Green Wednesday, 27 February 2008 05:10

cd_playing-faves.jpgFinally, a pop-punk band who knows how to stir things up.



The Hard Lessons | B&G Sides, Vol. 2 (Quack! Media)

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Written by Rebecca Reardon Wednesday, 27 February 2008 03:14

cd_hard-lessons.jpgThe theme? Relationships gone south, with an intro, a G side and a B side. G side stands for Girl side, and B side? Boy side. Clever.



Headlights | Some Running, Some Stopping (Polyvinyl)

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Written by Jaffa Aharonov Friday, 22 February 2008 08:20

cd_headlights.jpgSure, the songs are sometimes melodramatic, but only in that charming, indie-pop way.



The Dodos | Visiter (French Kiss)

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Written by Glen Elkins Friday, 22 February 2008 08:19

cd_dodos.jpgAt times, Long's passionate whelps are surrounded by reverb, and lush countermelodies; other times they hang painfully alone.



Jinnrail | Million Lifetimes (Girlfight)

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Written by Karen Brandt Friday, 22 February 2008 08:15

cd_jinnrail.jpgThe language is beautiful, but with its elevation comes the problem of obscurity.



Johnathan Rice | Further North (Reprise)

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Written by Karen Brandt Friday, 22 February 2008 08:12

cd_johnathan-rice.jpgRice recounts typical guy-girl relationships with a "love her, leave her, and long-for-her-later" attitude.



Steve Smith | This Town (G.A.S.)

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Written by Sheila Shahpari Friday, 22 February 2008 08:10

cd_steve-smith.jpg"Sometimes being a genius is just waking up in the morning."



Michael Jackson | Thriller 25th Anniversary Edition (Epic Legacy)

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Written by Amy Burger Friday, 22 February 2008 08:07

cd_mj-thriller.jpgAs they'd say in 1983, from the moment the needle hit the vinyl (this was the pre-CD era), it was on, and it was pure gold.



Bayard Russell | Selftitled (s/r)

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Written by Amanda Pelle Monday, 18 February 2008 05:52

cd_bayard-russell.jpgSelftitled samples generously from the spice rack of genre as Russell seeks to uncover his musical identity.



The Mars Volta | The Bedlam in Goliath (Universal)

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Written by Josh Vise Monday, 18 February 2008 05:50

cd_mars-volta.jpgThe Bedlam in Goliath is The Mars Volta's way of counteracting Soothsayer's evil curse by way of disseminating its power to the listeners.



Ray Davies | Working Man's Café (New West)

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Written by Jim Ousley Monday, 18 February 2008 05:47

cd_ray-davies.jpgDavies ratchets up the creepy factor for a tune so thick in atmosphere that you can smell the leaves, hear the wind howl, and feel the humidity form sweat beads on your neck.



Blue Highway | Through the Window of a Train (Rounder)

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Written by Ryan Parker Friday, 15 February 2008 07:07

cd_blue-highway.jpgMany of the songs have a definite storytelling aspect that seem to fit in well with the "sittin' on the porch" nature of bluegrass.



David Saw | Broken Down Figure (Iris)

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Written by Raymee Holshauser Friday, 15 February 2008 07:02

cd_david-saw.jpgBroken Down Figure is both sad and hopeful, showing off Saw's songwriting chops and lyrical ability.



Eat Sugar (s/r)

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Written by Josh Vise Friday, 15 February 2008 06:59

cd_eat-sugar.jpgEat Sugar is one of those groups whose sound encompasses several genres without conforming to any single one.



Monade | Monstre Cosmic (Too Pure)

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Written by Jaffa Aharonov Friday, 15 February 2008 06:56

cd_monade.jpgReally, it's okay to sound like yourself, right?



The Shondes | The Red Sea (s/r)

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Written by Rebecca Reardon Friday, 15 February 2008 06:47

cd_shondes.jpgThese are bands that blend seemingly disparate genres to create anthemic, thought-provoking tracks that rock listeners out of their apathetic stupor.



Pretendo | ][ (Country Club)

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Written by Josh Vise Friday, 15 February 2008 06:43

cd_pretendo.jpgEach song seems tailor-made to be the soundtrack of a high-speed chase.



Air Traffic | Fractured Life (Astralwerks)

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Written by Laura Hamlett Friday, 15 February 2008 06:37

cd_air-traffic.jpgFractured Life  is gritty Brit-pop, indie rock, dance-inducing, upbeat pop, mellow, reflective, soothing AAA...



Love in October | Pontus, The Devil, and Me (The Musik Group)

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Written by Kevin Renick Wednesday, 13 February 2008 06:43

cd_love-in-oct.jpgLove in October, an emo-type foursome led by Swedish brothers Erik and Kent Widman, may be based in Minneapolis, but that adrenaline-charged sound you hear will be familiar to anyone who's heard The Hives.




Meshuggah | obZen (Nuclear Blast)

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Written by Josh Vise Wednesday, 13 February 2008 06:38

cd_meshuggah.jpgFredrik Thordendal and Mårten Hagström assault the ears with a guitarist's interpretation of tectonic plates colliding.



The Old Haunts | Poisonous Times (Kill Rock Stars)

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Written by Jaffa Aharanov Wednesday, 13 February 2008 06:30

cd_old-haunts.jpgThe fat and fuzzy bass-heavy guitar of the title track makes me immediately think of Kill Rock Stars labelmates and fellow residents of the Northwest, The Gossip, but with male vocals instead of Beth Ditto's soulfulness.



Widespread Panic | Free Somehow (Widespread)

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Written by Amy Burger Wednesday, 13 February 2008 06:27

cd_widespread.jpgFree Somehow is the band's first studio effort featuring songs that were not previously "road tested" onstage in live performances.



Dirty on Purpose | Like Bees EP (North St)

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Written by Alex Bates Wednesday, 06 February 2008 14:17

cd_dirty.jpgThe songs are mellow getting mellower, and it's an easy album to listen to.



Private Eleanor | Sweethearting (The Beechfields)

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Written by Jaffa Aharonov Wednesday, 06 February 2008 14:14

cd_eleanor.jpgBefore more words are said, I must confess to having a bit of a soft spot for dramatic romanticism in song.



Spencer Jo | My Old Home (s/r)

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Written by Jason Neubauer Wednesday, 06 February 2008 14:07

cd_spencer-jo.jpgHis talent as an instrumentalist and lyricist are showcased in a way that keeps his music free of distracted bravado and long solos



The Metapuffs | Dimensional Maze (Interplanetary)

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Written by Rebecca Reardon Wednesday, 06 February 2008 14:03

cd_metapuffs.jpgTruly great pop song, with tight harmonies. The lyrics are a bit twee. But Lane sounds so sweet, I don't mind.



Edison Glass | Time Is Fiction (Credential Recordings)

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Written by Carl Hines Friday, 01 February 2008 04:20

cd_edison-glass.jpgEach track is strong enough to stand on its own, all the while perfectly contributing to the cohesiveness of the work as a whole.



Biirdie | Catherine Avenue (Love Minus Zero)

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Written by Kevin Renick Friday, 01 February 2008 04:18

cd_biirdie.jpgThe plaintive vocals and stately Americana trappings of "Life in a Box" reveal the band as more than competent craftsmen, while the alt-country "Estelle" is pure, uninhibited fun.



Karmic Whiplash | The Nervous System (City Duck)

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Written by Eammon Azizi Friday, 01 February 2008 04:00

cd_karmic.jpgThe Nervous System is a quick, enjoyable ten-song folk rock album with enough creativity, edge, pop and variety to keep it interesting all the way through.



L'ocelle Mare | s/t (Sick Room)

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Written by Jason Green Friday, 01 February 2008 03:54

cd_locelle.jpgTrack 7 shows what potential there was in Bonvalet's original idea, with a gently plucked acoustic guitar backed only by the sound of pouring rain.



Grand Ole Party | Humanimals (DH)

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Written by Rebecca Reardon Friday, 01 February 2008 03:46

cd_grand-ole-party.jpgEven after several listens, I never really got over my Yeah Yeah Yeahs déjà vu.



Kate Nash | Made of Bricks (Fiction/Polydor)

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Written by Todd McKenzie Thursday, 24 January 2008 07:29

cd_kate-nash.jpgShe doesn't sing about prostitutes or pushers; instead, she weaves intricate tales about crushes and teenage identity crises.



Ladyhawk | Shots (Jagjaguwar)

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Written by Alex Hodschayan Thursday, 24 January 2008 07:27

cd_ladyhawk.jpgUpon first listen, I couldn't help wondering if Ladyhawk had spent too much time listening to Jason Molina.



Earthworms | Bottle of Bourbon (F5)

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Written by Joshua Vise Thursday, 24 January 2008 07:19

cd_earthworms.jpgEarthworms manage to successfully avoid the sophomore curse by keeping up the momentum and sticking to their real strength.



Cassettes Won't Listen | Small-Time Machine (s/r)

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Written by Glen Elkins Tuesday, 22 January 2008 13:20

cd_cassettes.jpgWith a sound less fresh than its predecessors, Cassettes Won't Listen still manages a fun, enjoyable disc.



Lucinda Black Bear | ‘Capo My Heart' and Other Bear Songs (Eastern Spurs)

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Written by Kevin Renick Tuesday, 22 January 2008 13:11

cd_lucinda.jpgThere's something about hearing a male voice reaching for that challenging, octave-stretching high note—and nailing it—that is utterly sublime.



Hello, Blue Roses | The Portrait is Finished and I Have Failed to Capture Your Beauty (Locust Music)

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Written by Gabe Bullard Monday, 21 January 2008 03:02

cd_blue-roses.jpgWhile this album sounds great, it's a lot to take at once. Even though the 14 songs add up to about 40 minutes, the stream of short tunes provides a sensory assault that causes even the smoothest sound to wear on the eardrum.



Dick Prall | Weightless (Authentic)

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Written by Glen Elkins Monday, 21 January 2008 03:01

cd_dick-prall.jpgThe dense and meaningful lyrics make Weightless anything but, as he demonstrates his adept ability to join substantive words with catchy melodies.



The Yarrows | Plum (Empyrean)

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Written by Kevin Renick Friday, 18 January 2008 02:40

cd_yarrows.jpgWhat truly pervades is a sense of patience; the band wants to nail a certain mood here, and they're not the least bit interested in showing off their chops or proving how diverse they are.



Cat Power | Jukebox (Matador)

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Written by Katie Cook Friday, 18 January 2008 02:36

cd_catpower.jpgMarshall has a way of taking what is familiar, fixed, or at the very worst, stale, and uniquely contemporizing it for a new time in music.



The Whigs | Mission Control (ATO)

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Written by Keith Mangles Tuesday, 15 January 2008 08:05

cd_whigs.jpgI find myself humming the vocal parts and the bass guitar parts to "Production City," the second track.



Evangelicals | The Evening Descends (Dead Oceans)

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Written by Gabe Bullard Tuesday, 15 January 2008 08:01

cd_evangelicals.jpgReally, the only three words that fit this album are "LISTEN RIGHT NOW."



Throw Me the Statue | Moonbeams (Secretely Canadian)

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Written by Joseph O'Fallon Monday, 14 January 2008 01:49

cd_throw-me-the-statue.jpgA good portion of Moonbeams shies away from the playful Boy Least Likely To elements, and instead embraces, especially vocally, a Casiotone for the Painfully Alone or Robot Ate Me feel.


The Magnetic Fields | Distortion (Nonesuch)

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Written by Todd McKenzie Monday, 14 January 2008 01:39

cd_magnetic-fields.jpgSonically, Distortion is about as much of a 180 as one could expect after the quiet, acoustic chamber pop of the band's previous effort, i.

Vampire Weekend (XL)

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Written by Gabe Bullard Tuesday, 08 January 2008 14:52

cd_vampire.jpgSo, while everyone from frat boys to library clerks moving their buns to Vampire Weekend, what's left for the serious music fan to appreciate?



The Cult | Born Into This (Roadrunner/New Wilderness)

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Written by Jason Green Tuesday, 08 January 2008 14:26

cd_cult.jpgRather than continuing in the vein of Beyond Good and Evil or branching off in a new direction, the Cult of ‘07 seems content to try to rock out with their cock out like it's 1989.



Juno | Original Soundtrack Recording (Rhino)

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Written by Pete Timmermann Monday, 07 January 2008 08:41

cd_juno.jpgReally, the Juno soundtrack might as well be a best-of Kimya Dawson record.



Numero Group | Numero 017: The Outskirts of Deep City

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Written by Sam Levy Tuesday, 18 December 2007 03:04

cd_numero-17.jpgAs they built The Deep City Label release and turned over the rocks, a giant web emerged: names and leads and stories of late-night jam sessions in the Magic City.



Ian Axel | im on to you (Authentic Music Group)

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Written by Eammon Azizi Tuesday, 18 December 2007 02:57

cd_ian-axel.jpgIf you're a fan of piano-based rock with light attitude, then you'll really enjoy listening to Ian Axel and his band's musical craft.



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