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Five New Albums Worth Your Dime

Five New Albums Worth Your Dime

1. Alejandro Escovedo, Boxing Mirror
(The rustic and ailing Texas rock legend returns with his best studio album in years. With some help from John Cale, this is a dusty and dense mix of folk and art-rock.)

2. Gnarls Barkley, St. Elsewhere
(Hip-hop producer Danger Mouse and Goodie Mob soul singer Cee-Lo collaborate for this bizarre, yet intoxicating, side project. The result is an experimental soul/funk explosion with heavy beats and seductive vocals. Could become the chill-out record of the summer.)

3. Pearl Jam, Pearl Jam
(It’s not the grunge band’s best album since 1994’s Vitalogy, but it is their best album since 1998’s Yield. A few misfires don’t spoil what becomes a tight and textured rock record. The production gets a little self-indulgent but tunes like “Unemployable,” “World Wide Suicide,” and “Marker in the Sand” prove this band still hasn’t lost its edge.)

4. Snow Patrol, Eyes Open
(The Irish answer to Coldplay and Lou Barlow cleans it up for the follow-up to their breakthrough release. The sound is much more polished, but they don’t lose the sense of urgency and melody that peppered their solid canon.)

5. The Charlatans UK, Simpatico
(Who knows what exactly they’re smoking, but these Brit-poppers show off a strong affinity for dub/dancehall influences and sounds of spending time in Jamaica. Instead of seeming tired, though, they deliver a stellar selection of pop songs that recall the Happy Mondays, or the Oasis we all miss.)

BONUS TRACKS:
– “Promiscuous” by Nelly Furtado with Timbaland
(Who knew pop diva Nelly Furtado and hip-hop genius Timbaland would be a match made in heaven? Anyone who hears this catchy club anthem.)

– “Say Hey There” by Atmosphere
(A nice slice of underground hip-hop with the kind of hook that deserves to be a Top 40 smash.)

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