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Five New Albums Worth Your Dime

Five New Albums Worth Your Dime

1. The Roots, How I Got Over
(It’s the best album in years from Jimmy Fallon’s house band. There’s no need to worry that their new full-time job will interfere with a reign as hip-hop’s most musically-oriented group. A collection of rousing anthems and pop songs, it’s a tighter set than we’re used to from the Philly natives. So what if some of the “guest vocalists” are nothing more than pre-existing sampled recordings, folks like Jim James and Joanna Newsom add an especially inventive tone.)

2. Stars, The Five Ghosts
(If the Arcade Fire is Montreal’s most ambitious rock band, then Stars should be considered the city’s most hauntingly poetic. On their fifth LP, the theme is the afterlife and the Morrissey-inspired dance party they want to host, inside.)

3. The Like, Release Me
(I was a fan of this band’s 2005 debut, which borrowed more from Juliana Hatfield and Liz Phair than many considered suitable. For their first album in five years, they’ve teamed with producer Mark Ronson and completely inverted their sound. Now, this band of California pixies is a 1960s-inspired girl group, with retro-fitted songwriting and production. While band make-over are often a cheap ploy at commercial success – see the Black Eyed Peas – these tunes are too clever to ignore.)

4. Alejandro Escovedo, Street Songs of Love
(If the ailing Austin-based troubadour has made his latest album about any one subject, it is indeed love, as the LP title suggests. Still in fiery form, Escovedo’s latest rocks through pub punk and country-western ballads.)

5. Tame Impala, Innerspeaker
(Psychedelic rock is making a mainstream comeback, and these Aussies are gaining momentum after a tour supporting the band that brought the movement back in the first place: MGMT. However, Tame Impala feels like the genuine article, rather than some studio-tested prototype.)

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