K-OS: “Atlantis (Hymns for Disco)”
Producer: K-OS
Virgin
Release Date: Feb. 20

Considerably big in his native Canada but still a cult figure around these parts, the shapeshifting rapper K-OS agreeably shoots on his third album to join the ranks of such genre-benders as Gnarls Barkley and Lupe Fiasco, liberally seasoning his hip-hop with soul, classic rock and well-intentioned new-agey riffs on the tangled state of human interaction. And even if he doesn't get all the way there, he stuffs "Atlantis" to the core with ambition, wicked grooves and more hooks than you might expect. The double-great "Fly Paper" is an upgraded front-porch jam (and a worthy sequel to "Crabbuckit" from his 2004 disc "Joyful Rebellion"), "Valhalla" includes an assist from Kevin Drew of Broken Social Scene, "Equilizer" is something of a rap version of "Jailhouse Rock," and the sweeping single "Sunday Morning" soars on a deceptively twisty series of handclaps and piano. Keep an ear out. --Jeff Vrabel