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Five New Albums Worth Your Dime

Five New Albums Worth Your Dime

1. Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Howl
(After two Velvet Underground-inspired records that earned them the snide nickname, “Black Rebel Mary Chain,” the fuzz-rockers get rootsy and bluesy for this latest. It’s still druggy, but with a Bob Dylan atmosphere and appreciation for folk. And, oddly, it fits in perfectly with their already-impressive library.)

2. Conjure One, Extraordinary Ways
(This project by producer Rhys Fulber blends trance and worldbeat in a spacey chill-out canvas. Okay, remember that group Enigma? It sounds like that but waaaay better.)

3. Death Cab For Cutie, Plans
(This indie-rock group’s major label debut predictably doesn’t match up with their DIY masterpiece, Transatlanticism. Nevertheless, this is the sound of smart pop/rock, earnest melodies that would feel at home on either The O.C. or the KCRW. A must-buy for fans, a maybe-buy for everyone else.)

4. Stayton Bonner, Think I’m Gonna Move to Australia
(Austin singer/songwriter follows the grand tradition of Bruce Robison and Pat Green with this impressive debut into the world of Texas country. If anything, seek out the song “Debutante.”)

5. Kanye West, Late Registration
(A Top 40 hip-hop classic. West wisely abandons everything we knew about his style, except for the ambition. With some help from guests as varied as Jon Brion, Brandy, and Adam Levine, the producer/rapper has crafted one of the year’s best rap releases.)

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