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Fall Out Boy: American Beauty / American Psycho

Fall Out Boy version II makes a bid for the continued evolution of their sound. A mostly entertaining work emerges from this creative maelstrom.

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Guster: Evermotion

Guster takes a leap forward while remembering what makes them a strong band, working the best of then and now into Evermotion.

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Tim McGraw: Sundown Heaven Town

On album 13, and album two since extracting himself from his Curb contract, Tim McGraw is in his element and doing what he does best.

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Blake Shelton: Bringing Back the Sunshine

On Bringing Back the Sunshine, Blake Shelton brings back more of the same.

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Dilated Peoples: Directors of Photography

After an eight-year gap, Dilated Peoples are back and picking up right where they left off.

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La Roux: Trouble in Paradise

The collaborators are different, but the voice is just as strong, and has only gotten better with time.

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Sarah McLachlan: Shine On

The pain of her past album buried, Sarah McLachlan is back with the vibrant, upbeat Shine On.

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311: Stereolithic

311 prove that sometimes sticking with what you do best can yield great results.

SAVE / IGNORE: Labels

311 Records

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Pharrell: G I R L

Pharrell is talented, no doubt, but on solo disc No. 2 this talent seems thoroughly out to lunch.

SAVE / IGNORE: Labels

Columbia / RCA

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The Fray: Helios

The Fray are a talented band, but album number four yields mostly more of the same.

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Xiu Xiu: Angel Guts, Red Classroom

Stripping down to the core elements can reveal a whole new sound for some bands. For Xiu Xiu, it makes a band already invested in creating intentionally difficult music sound too difficult to be worthwhile.

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The Reverend Horton Heat: REV

After a brief detour into alt-country flavored punkabilly, Reverend Horton Heat sparks up some more of their old fire on their 11th studio album.

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Billie Joe Armstrong and Norah Jones: Foreverly

Billie Joe Armstrong & Norah Jones team up to tackle the Everly Brothers. Yes, you read that right. So how does it all sound anyway?

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Ed Kowalczyk: The Flood and the Mercy

Ed Kowalczyk has turned to a new chapter on his second solo disc, losing some distinction but still showing his skill musically.

Music

Sting: The Last Ship

Sting the pop song-spinner extraordinaire has left the building. Sting the complex storyteller is here instead, and here he brings a story worth listening to.

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Cher: Closer to the Truth

Cher comes back with a glittery roar, marked by some quiet moments, and absence has made the heart grow fonder.

Music

Elton John: The Diving Board

Elton John strips away the bombast for one of his most satisfying releases of his late-career period.

Music

Blackmore's Night: Dancer and the Moon

Blackmore's Night has talented players working to create the sound, but the well of ideas is starting to run dry.

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BT: A Song Across Wires

BT backpedals and strays away from some of the experimental aspects that made his previous disc so interesting.

SAVE / IGNORE: Labels

Armada Music

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KT Tunstall: Invisible Empire / Crescent Moon

On her fourth album KT Tunstall strips away all of the energy that defined her last three discs; what results is neither a bad album nor one of her best.

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