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DJ Shadow: The Less You Know, the Better

Only putting out one album every few years is a risky move. The artist has more time to perfect his work, but that doesn’t make a record immune to negative reception. DJ Shadow should have learned this when his 2006 album The Outsider received universally poor reviews. Yet the San
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Chickenfoot: Chickenfoot III

The feathery supergroup Chickenfoot are back with more classic rock grooves. Deciding to skip the numeral II altogether, Chickenfoot III exudes the ’70s and ’80s ideals of big, loud guitars, harmonizing backing vocals and a gruff, husky singer. Despite the fact that the tracks on Chickenfoot’s latest offering suggest a
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Clap Your Hands Say Yeah: Hysterical

There’s nothing special about the new Clap Your Hands Say Yeah album. After a five-year hiatus, one would expect the indie rockers to return with a bang. Instead, they have retreated to unrecognizable mediocrity on Hysterical. CYHSY’s self-released, self-titled debut album was all the rage in 2005. The lovably quirky
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St. Vincent – Strange Mercy

Strange Mercy is not an instant favorite. But with a little cozying up, St. Vincent’s third album will seduce listeners into a melancholic love affair. With her latest effort, timid-voiced singer-songwriter Annie Clark offers another dose of mildly catchy melodies laced with ear-perking beats and sensual guitar riffs. Clark’s vocals
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Red Hot Chili Peppers

Red Hot Chili Peppers: I’m With You

When it was announced that John Frusciante, guitarist for the Red Hot Chili Peppers was leaving, concern arose about the new direction of the ongoing Peppers. The perpetually boy-faced, angel-voice guitar savant was the driving force behind the roman-candle hooks that had propelled the last couple of Peppers albums. Frusciante
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Beirut - The Riptide

Beirut: The Rip Tide

When Beirut, the solo project of New Mexico native Zach Condon, debuted in 2006, it was a welcome blast from some accordion-filled past. With its resounding chorus of brass orchestration and romantic images of Ye Olde Europe, the band’s debut album, Gulag Orkestar, was a refreshingly cheery introduction for the
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Tom Morello - The Nightwatchman

The Nightwatchman – World Wide Rebel Songs

Hot off the release of his last EP Union Town, Tom Morello has now given us World Wide Rebel Songs, the third LP as his political-folk alter ego, the Nightwatchman. Although the folk aspect is still dominant, Morello fuses it with his frequency-shifting electric guitar style. Backed by his Freedom
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Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks - Mirror Traffic

Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks: Mirror Traffic

Stephen Malkmus, the legendary leader of Pavement, has returned with a new solo outing, Mirror Traffic. Opening with the jaunty  “Tigers,” Mirror Traffic is chock-full of the indie hooks that made Pavement the end-all-be-all of the genre. “No One (Is As I Are Be)” has a quiet, majestic quality about
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Jay-Z and Kanye West: WATCH THE THRONE

Although the reigning kings of hip hop have everything money can buy and some that it can’t — Grammys aren’t for sale, right? ― Kanye West and Jay-Z display their adamant abstinence from complacency in their collaborative effort Watch the Throne. The twelve-track LP was born from two artists who
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Joss Stone: LP1

Don’t be fooled by the nose ring on the cover of Joss Stone’s fifth studio release, LP1. There’s nothing remotely rebellious about the soulful singer’s new album. All the rebellion of the British neo-soul niche seems to have passed along with Amy Winehouse. That’s not to say there’s no life
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