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Los Campesinos!: Romance Is Boring

Prolific British seven-piece show how sonic exploration can actually go right, and in the process prove that romance isn't all that boring after all.

Music

Mungolian Jetset: We Gave It All Away... Now We're Taking It Back

Norwegian duo's debut album plus remix collection is a remarkably singular entry into the Scandinavian dance canon.

Music

UGK: UGK 4 Life

Southern rap's most respected elders seal their legacy with a final album worthy of their stature.

Music

Cam'ron: Crime Pays

Cam'ron's sixth album finds the rapper supported by flimsy production that saps him of his vitality.

Music

Ciara: Fantasy Ride

Ciara's third album leaked last year and was then retooled for its official release. It should've been left alone.

Music

Ryan Leslie: Ryan Leslie

Ryan Leslie, producer of Cassie's "Me & U", unveils his brilliant Stateside debut, proving he's no one-beat wonder

Music

E-40: The Ball Street Journal

Legendary Bay Area rapper's eleventh album is 50% great and 50% an ill-fated attempt at pop. Sigh.

Music

Telepathe: Chrome's on It EP

New York-based female duo hands out nice enough floor plans, lets its remixers build houses.

Music

G-Side: Starshipz and Rocketz

Two Alabama rappers, backed by the genius Block Beataz production team, release one of the best rap albums of 2008, a work that is distinctly modern but respectfully reverent.

Music

The Best Mixtapes of 2008

The year's best mixtapes are full of the energy of crunk, unapologetic weirdness, a castle built of cartoon references, and raps about Bill O'Reilly.

Music

Akon: Freedom

Oft-maligned hitmaker's third album doesn't do much to convince the haters that he's not the hack that they think.

Music

Young Jeezy: The Recession

With all apologies to Nas, if there’s any rapper suited to make an overarching concept album about living in 2008, it’s the self-made hit king from Atlanta.

Music

J.R. Writer: Politics & Bullshit

Lifelong Diplomat J.R. Writer delivers a nearly promising album that is more mixtape than anything.

Music

The Game: LAX

On his third album, rap's estranged headcase follows his first post-G-Unit album with one of 2008's most consistent rap full-lengths.

Music

2 Pistols: Death Before Dishonor

Florida rapper, 2 Pistols, releases a debut album barely worth the words in this blurb.

Jordan Sargent
Music

Bun B: II Trill

The second solo album by legendary Houston rapper Bun B sees the South's best rappers quietly repaying him for his work making in-roads, while he sounds just as at home as ever.

Music

Rick Ross: Trilla

Rick Ross is, quietly, one of the most important emcees in rap. His second album succeeds on the back of great beats and guests, while he deftly manages not to ruin it all.

Jordan Sargent
Music

The Cool Kids: The Bake Sale EP

Young'n rappers the Cool Kids love the '80s, so they dress the part, beepers and gold ropes included, and offer an impressive mix of carefree rhymes, silvery flow, and rumbling beats.

Music

Styles P: Super Gangster (Extraordinary Gentleman)

Veteran rapper Styles P issues an album of dichotomies: classy, imperial beats belied by gritty and depressive lyrics.

Jordan Sargent
Music

Joe Budden: Mood Muzik 3: The Album

The prelude to Joe Budden’s second album proves he can still rap, but if its melodrama seems silly to you, it’s not your fault.

Jordan Sargent
Music

Gucci Mane: Back to the Traphouse

If Clipse are the lyricists, T.I. the pop star, and Jeezy the ad-libber, then Gucci falls somewhere in the middle of the three.

Jordan Sargent

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