Reviews > Music
Ken Waldman: All Originals, All Traditionals

Double-disc offering of Alaskan poems and fiddle tunes, as big as the state itself.

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13 Jun 2006 // 12:00 AM

Francine: Airshow

Third LP from intricate Boston band moves further away from power pop towards something more enigmatic.

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Elvy Sukaesih: The Dangdut Queen

Sukaesih's pop songs sit sweetly at the intersection of the Islamic religion that most of Indonesia's population follows, and the Hindi films they love to watch.

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Maher Shalal Hash Baz: Kunitachi Kibun: Live 1984-85

Write music like your kid fingerpaints, record it from across a crowded room, and keep that recording buried for two decades.

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Mac Arnold: Nothin to Prove

Veteran Muddy Waters bassist Arnold can sing and lead a blues band, and very well too.

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Army of the Pharaohs: The Torture Papers

The beats are stellar, but the rhymes feel less and less so as the album progresses; all things considered, this is a good album that has the makings of greatness but fails to reach it.

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Allison Moorer: Getting Somewhere

The Duel was a brave album, but Getting Somewhere is definitely more courageous. Here, Moorer dares to look inward and face growing up. Brave indeed.

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Jolie Holland: Springtime Can Kill You

Apologies in advance for referring to this album as "Ms. Holland's Opus". It was cheap,easy, and I'm sure it's been done before, but it felt soooooo good.

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Bardo Pond: Ticket Crystals

Bardo Pond's primal stew has always contained the DNA for drone, post-rock, psyche and freak folk. The sixth full-length brings together all these elements in a terrifying, gorgeous mix.

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Regina Spektor: Begin to Hope

With a new album of expertly-crafted, touching, and refreshingly honest odes to life, Regina Spektor has grown without growing away from what makes her so special. Irreverent and innocent, theatrical and tender, cataclysmic and cute: human.

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Chieftains: The Essential Chieftains

When it comes to Irish music, the Chieftains fit the "Essential" in this CD's title.

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12 Jun 2006 // 12:00 AM

Sofa Surfers: Sofa Surfers

Sofa Surfers expertly illuminate the dark side of a world with no easy answers -- and they do it with style.

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12 Jun 2006 // 12:00 AM

Muallem: Frankie Splits

If this album gets into the right hands, Muallem could have a bright future as a beatmaker for the indie hip-hop world.

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0The Sound Dimension: Jamaica Soul Shake, Vol. 1

The first collection to feature Studio One's house band will please collectors, but may baffle neophytes.

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Willie Big Eyes Smith: Way Back

He's not Muddy Waters, but a second line performer still performing, and people could be excused for supposing this standard of blues album impossible nowadays. But here 'tis!

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9 Jun 2006 // 12:00 AM

Prototypes: Prototypes

The French electro-dance trio takes on America.

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9 Jun 2006 // 12:00 AM

Sonic Youth: Rather Ripped

A graceful question-mark to round out the Geffen era for Sonic Youth.

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9 Jun 2006 // 12:00 AM

Ladyhawk: Ladyhawk

The latest in a rash of Neil Young-loving guitar heroes, these Black Mountain-affliated roots rockers spin fuzz-distorted tales of love and disappointment.

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Of Montreal: Deflated Chime, Foals Flower Sibylline Responses

With only two new tracks padded with a couple old favorites, this peculiar tour EP may be best examined as if it were a 7" single.

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9 Jun 2006 // 12:00 AM

Beans: Only

Like many previous attempts to mine similar territory, this meeting between Beans' avant-garde hip-hop and William Parker and Hamid Drake's avant-garde jazz is not the groundbreaking mash-up that it aspires to be.

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