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Beastie Boys: Ill Communcation

Fifteen years after its original release, Ill Communication remains an impressive, often stunning synthesis of everything the Beastie Boys were and are.

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Capitol Records

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The Dead Weather: Horehound

With the Dead Weather's debut, Jack White, Alison Mosshart and company craft an excellent album that delves straight to the murky, clinically depressed core of blues tradition.

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Third Man

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Kasabian: West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum

All the gimmicky studio effects in the world can't mask the fact that this album is likely to be one of the most hollow you'll hear all year.

Music

Deerhunter: Rainwater Cassette Exchange EP

The impressive thing about this release is that, even on an EP of accessible pop songs, Deerhunter retain their skewed, inimitable shape.

Music

Maxïmo Park: Quicken the Heart

Maxïmo Park haven't failed with this third LP – it's just that they haven't done much of anything.

Music

Jedi Mind Tricks: A History of Violence

Their sixth LP is still soaked in blood, but Jedi Mind Tricks find room for spirituality and social issues, amidst the usual threats.

Music

The Rakes: Klang

The Rakes are still an efficient machine on their third LP, but a machine that's becoming increasingly outdated.

Music

Art Brut: Art Brut Vs. Satan

Art Brut prove that they're still one of the most punk bands we've got going for us.

Music

Depeche Mode: Sounds of the Universe

With their 12th LP, Depeche Mode do the obvious thing and write a Depeche Mode album.

Music

Telekinesis: Telekinesis!

Michael Lerner, following up on the promise suggested by a fair amount of blog buzz, delivers a debut album that manages to sound huge and calculated without ever feeling even slightly insincere.

Music

New Found Glory: Not Without a Fight

With their sixth LP, New Found Glory demonstrate that they have little interest in growing up -- which turns out to be both a flaw and a virtue.

Music

MSTRKRFT: Fist of God

In a genre filled with faceless artists, MSTRKRFT, with their sophomore effort, only manage to stand out by being exceptionally faceless.

Music

Chris Cornell: Scream

Cornell's third solo LP -- a collaboration with Timbaland -- is the ultimate example of popular music not as an art form, but as a consumer product to be shelved next to the novelty t-shirts in Spencer's Gifts.

Music

Handsome Furs: Face Control

Handsome Furs craft something of a rarity even in today's independent music scene: a modest, personal album that doesn't ask for anything more than what you're willing to give.

Music

Minotaur Shock: Amateur Dramatics

Minotaur Shock's electronic chamber music will either serve as a (moderately) satisfying headphone journey or as something pretty to have hanging in the background.

Music

Cadence Weapon: Separation Anxiety

With this mixtape, Cadence Weapon makes it clear that he wants nothing more than to soundtrack your next party.

Music

The Bodies Obtained: From the Top of My Tree

You know you're in trouble when the most interesting thing about your band is its name.

Music

Future Clouds and Radar: Peoria

For all its psychedelic conceits, Future Clouds & Radar end up delivering an almost too modest sophomore effort that could've stood to drop another acid tab or two.

Music

Senses Fail: Life Is Not a Waiting Room

Senses Fail's latest effort seethes with all the cloying melodrama and embarrassing sentimentality of a drunken e-mail to an ex-girlfriend.

Bill Stewart
Music

Skeletons: Money

Skeletons deliver an avant-garde explosion that strains the contours of the album to their absolute breaking point. There's naturally a bit of damage within, but not so much that you can't still find some real treasure amidst the debris.

Bill Stewart
Music

The All-American Rejects: When the World Comes Down

The All-American Rejects attempt to dodge the bullet of rewriting 2006's Move Along by stapling glossy production flourishes to some (mostly) unadventurous pop songs.

Bill Stewart
Music

Jonas Reinhardt: Jonas Reinhardt

Reinhardt's debut marries the subtle development of ambient music with bite-sized pop song lengths, creating a mirror of an album, one that reflects back exactly what the listener puts into it -- no more and no less.

Bill Stewart

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