Cold Spring Fault Less Youth Mount Kimbie
Warp Records

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mount kimble is an electronic music duo that recently released their second album, "cold spring fault less youth." now i don't know what the title means, but the content of the record is so cool. they seem to be beckoning some "pretty thing" to join them in the stratosphere, where they can safely watch a messed-up world, while they cultivate their love, playing double solitaire.

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13 Black Sabbath
Vertigo / Universal

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well you metalheads, miracles do happen. black sabbath, including ozzy,
tony iommi, geezer butler and a new drummer have released a rocking album
entitled "13." and, as the editor of "hit parader" magazine from 1980 to 1990,
this band is better than ever. they remain an unshakable cornerstone of the
real metal world. this quartet stays apart from its peers on a high mountain
peak of doom, drugs and monster riffs that--along with evil t-shirts, volume
and shaggy hair--have fueled a million basement dreams of dark glory. they
will always rule.

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Delta Machine Depeche Mode
Columbia / Mute

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sweet baby jesus, how lucky we are. the 13th studio album by depeche mode is a double disc. and they will always be with us. "delta machine" is a creation by martin gore and david gahan and others. they will always be erotic, longing for an invisible lover to heal the pain of being ignored by physical heartbrealers. they have gotten stronger than ever, and the electronic world will always need depeche mode to lead the way.

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Wheelhouse Brad Paisley
Arista Nashville

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as the former editor of "country song roundup" magazine i can tell you with
real honesty that you won't hear a better country singer these days than
brad paisley. his recent album, "wheelhouse," proves again that the man has
the talent of george strait, alan jackson or any neo-traditionalist you can
name. the man always has a shiny, clean production in the glorious country
world. he's the real deal and always will be.

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Born Sinner J. COle
Roc Nation / Columbia

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those of us who have been waiting for a hip-hop artist to rap about 
poverty, racism and class struggle have finally been satisfied by j. cole's 
sophomore album, "born sinner." the man shifts into bouncy left-wing politics 
and satisfies our souls. he grooves, not towards hell, but into island sunsets 
and choruses that say stop upsetting yourself, but struggle, and that's not 
bad advice at all. he's captured in achingly, intimate settings.
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Jake Bugg Jake Bugg
Mercury

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jake bugg has gloriously come into our world with his self-titled debut 
album. the man is all about understatement--moderate tempos, mellow baritone 
crooning, easeful acoustic strumming. this old-timer is very grateful.
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Yeezus Kanye West
Def Jam

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kanye west has treated us with his sixth studio album, "yeezus." there's everything here. what else from kanye. fingerpicked melodic fills emerge from surface noise. vocals step up to shake your hand. it's the sound of him as a man, not a ghost. the lyrics are full of romantic turmoil. there is no sun; with sound this blazingly bright who needs it? what makes this album remarkable: the newfound maturity and soulfulness in his vocals and his warm and distinct musical backing. he sings to a hater he wants to convert to a lover. the result is hypnotic performance. this is a model of hip-hop arranging that has made him into a great pop star and a sex symbol. kanye's a yardstick for soul visionaries everywhere.

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Talk a good game Kelly Rowland
Republic

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former destiny child kelly rowland treats us big time with her fourth
album, "talk a good game." shameless is how she has redefined soul--to the point

where "cool" and "shameless" look and feel the same.

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Love Has Come For You Steven Martin & Edie Brickell
Rounder / Universal

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"love has come for you" is a crucial soul/country/bluegrass/folk album by the unique pairing of steve martin and edie brickell. the easy rolling pleasures are impossible to deny. the sound is friendly and cool, primitivism that masks pop smarts and respect for tradition.

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Once I was an Eagle Laura Marling
Virgin

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laura marling purrs every ballad and sad song she sings in slow motion. many of the glorious songs she sings on "once i was an eagle" include occupational hazards when you try to court troubadous. but she's never afraid to sing exactly what's on her mind. and laura has a super-fine voice--clear and ringing--and, man, can she write super-fine lyrics. as bruce once sang "she's all that heaven will allow."

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This World Oft Can Be Della Mae
Rounder / Universal / DeCca

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lord have mercy is all i can say about "this world oft can be." della mae's great sophomore album evokes a weary wee-hours march through empty streets. the poetry has been collected by five winners, singing in a croon, cool sound, tending toward touching sentiments.

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Self Portraits Various Artists
Rhino Entertainment Company

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do you want classics by artists like carole king, james taylor, joni mitchell, leon russell, bob dylan and many more pick up "self portraits." if you want something else i feel sorry for you.


Volume 3 She and Him
Merge

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she & him are zooey deschanel and m. ward and they put together a
super-fine album entitled "3." i guarantee you that everything else out there today, as fascinting as it is to have and hear, is just lead up to "3." they make other artists seem like dance hall queens with blond wig ambition. this pair wear their classic folk passions like badges.

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Modern Vampires of the City Vampire Weekend
XL Recordings

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"modern vampires of the city" is an ultimate "fuck you" sung with gentle california equanimity by ezra koenig. he shoots his soloes straight from the heart, killing with kindness.

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Nataly Dawn How I Knew Her
Nonesuch

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nataly dawn doesn't have much interest in everyday details. when she sings
on "how i knew her" you feel her feelings and how much she wants you to
understand her. and that is part of the excitement of listening to this album. it ends up sounding so tender and empathetic because she is so close to
everyone.

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Life In This World Will Calhoun
Motema

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for us old-timers, we remember will calhoun as the drummer of the hard rock
band, living colour. now we know, that he had a ton of influences in the
bronx, including jazz. his latest album is just that. "life in this world"
comes as the entire world of music is being turned upside down. it is so
powerful that it has inspired people to make music for the first time. but
records like these have a galvanizing effect in people who are already in bands to reassess themselves and try something different.

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Black Lace Blue Tears Eugenie Jones
CD Baby

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eugenie jones has released her debut album "black lace, blue tears." she has jazz and blues mastered, singing in a soft style, given to sad moods and flights of literary mysticism. she's so full feeling she sweats communion wine. just a top of the line record in every way, musically, lyrically and vocally.

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Souvenirs Rusty Rierson
Red Dirt Music Company

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rusty rierson has never been more raw as when he sings his own lyrics on "souvenirs." with his acoustic guitar, great musicians and remarkable songs, he'll sing achingly slow, recalling hard winters and half-empty hotels, harmonizing with the quiet storm of his voice. he captures what being really alone feels like. but with loneliness this beautiful who needs friends?


Duke at the Roadhouse Eddie Daniels & Roger Kellaway
IPO Recordings

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"duke at the roadhouse: live in santa fe" is a tribute to mr. ellington by
jazz masters eddie daniels (clarinet/tenor sax) and roger kellaway (piano).
these veterans are still turning out jazz so good-natured it gives you a big smile and they deserve a mighty high five. these artists mix up disparate
sounds if for no other reason than that it feels good.

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Blue Heart Too Slim and the taildraggers
Underworld Records

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you'll know why too slim and the taildraggers are the real deal when you play "blue heart." you can't deny slim's scratchy growl on deep cuts. and he is dealing with the scariest subject: love. married life doesn't sound like bliss. with his eerily rusty voice, he imagines the couples guts getting ripped out. and the bands torture-device-beats only magnify the push-pull struggle between couples.

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Arrows Polly Scattergood
Mute Artists LLC

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polly scattergood hits the roof with "arrows." her impressions of love is chilling. and then she can employ island-flavored jams, skittery hip-hop and slack keyboard grooves. so she'll ponder love and escape over meticulous roots grooves adding twists. the ease she brings here isn't surprising. and then she uses her natural tough and sexy being to put the material over.

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