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Theophilus London: Timez Are Weird These Nights

Surprisingly solid full-album remix tilts the balance more towards dance than hip-hop but keeps the spirit intact.

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Lee Bannon: Fantastic Plastic

Bannon's beats may vary from spastic breakdowns to golden-age bangers, but they come together to form a surprisingly dope and cohesive whole.

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Jenny Owen Youngs: An Unwavering Band of Light

Youngs's darkly beautiful singing voice carries the day on her most energetic and accessible collection of songs yet.

Music

Rocket Juice & the Moon: Rocket Juice & the Moon

This debut showing from the team-up of Damon Albarn, Flea, and Fela Kuti drummer Tony Allen is surprisingly unambitious but solid and fun.

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Lushlife: Plateau Vision

A rap record full of beautiful songs that doesn't seem to make as much of an impact as the sum of its parts should suggest.

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The Darkmonk: True Underlord

The Darkmonk's mask might look as cool as his label boss DOOM's, but his perpetually flat affect puts a damper on the music.

SAVE / IGNORE: Labels

XIL / Metal Face

SAVE / IGNORE: Labels

Honest Jon's Records

SAVE / IGNORE: Labels

XIL / Metal Face Records

SAVE / IGNORE: Labels

Stones Throw

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Bishop Allen: The Broken String

You, whomever you may be, will like this album. I can think of no better recommendation for pop songs this good.

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The White Stripes: Icky Thump

If you've ever heard a White Stripes song you liked, you will like Icky Thump.

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Ying Yang Twins: Chemically Imbalanced

Terrible cover art and lyricism notwithstanding, Chemically Imbalanced ends up being much, much better than it has any right to be.

Music

Nas: Hip Hop Is Dead

In a fall where many stumbled and even Jay-Z slipped up, Nas is back with a record for history.

Music

Young Jeezy: The Inspiration

If Jeezy is anything, he's consistent.

Music

Jay-Z: Kingdom Come

Jay-Z has pulled off the world's best example of "shooting oneself in the foot": making a really really good record about how that particular record is the best ever.

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The Decemberists: The Crane Wife

The Crane Wife is a record of steely voices and beautiful sounds and striking images, of poetry in more senses than one.

Music

Sigur Rós: Saeglópur

The unique falsetto vocalizations and the sometimes starkly minimal, often breathtakingly beautiful, and always sweepingly unearthly signature soundscapes are back.

Music

J Dilla: The Shining

The problem is that while the whole of Dilla's first true posthumous release is incredibly solid and expertly crafted, it's for the most part unremarkable.

Music

Eugene Mirman: En Garde, Society!

Mirman's style of comedy is remarkably casual, laid-back and almost improvised in its feel: where he differentiates himself is with his off-hand, absurdist delivery and the unexpected directions in which he takes his jokes.

Music

Rhymefest: Blue Collar

Kanye's fanbase may have their Lacoste logos and expensive cellphones, but Rhymefest's "blue collar niggas" have soul.

Music

Dr. Octagon: The Return of Dr. Octagon

While The Return of Dr. Octagon is better than anything Kool Keith's done in a while, it's still not close to the level of the classic Dr. Octagonecologyst.

Michael Frauenhofer
Music

The Procussions: 5 Sparrows for 2 Cents

Remember when Rawkus Records had the great hip-hop music with substance? The Procussions aren't it.

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