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Five New Albums Worth Your Dime

Five New Albums Worth Your Dime

1. Greg Laswell, Covers EP
(Musty singer-songwriter tackles a half-dozen cover tunes and makes them his own. If you’re looking for rainy day versions of material by the likes of The Sundays, Kate Bush, and Kristin Hersh, you’re in luck.)

2. Air, Love 2
(For the French duo, this one feels more like a B-Sides collection than an actual new album. But, as lower expectations go, it’s not bad. Even mediocre Air is better than most synth-pop experimentalists out there today.)

3. Pearl Jam, Backspacer
(The grunge-rockers are back with their tightest, and most playable, rock album in years. Reuniting with producer Brendan O’Brien was a very good idea, because he’s pulled some of the best arrangements and writing out of these guys, since 1998’s Yield.)

4. Kid Cudi, Man On the Moon: The End of Day
(This major label debut from the hip-hop wunderkind is not what we expected from the radio-friendly singles. This is a darker, deeper album than the club-friendly rap project we all wanted/needed. However, that doesn’t mean this album doesn’t work. If anything, this may be the first production to fully embrace the similarities between modern rap and indie rock. A spacey trip, but one worth taking.)

5. Monsters of Folk, Monsters of Folk
(Speaking of expectations, this years-in-progress album from Conor Oberst, Jim James, and M. Ward could never achieve what fans dreamed. But, what they accomplished is way better than simply “this generation’s The Traveling Wilburys.” This is a great folk/rock album, with some amazing moments and an earnest inclination to marry harmony with heart.)

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