1. Beyond The Pale, "Postcards"

    August 03, 2009 6:28 PM EDT 0 0 0 Perhaps the most captivating aspect of Toronto-based Beyond the Pale's new album, "Postcards," is the group's ability to blend Jewish klezmer music with a variety of Eastern European folk music. For the 16-song set, Beyond the Pa ...

  2. Frank Turner, "Love Ire & Song"

    August 03, 2009 6:01 PM EDT 0 0 0 Frank Turner , who previously fronted U.K. punk band Million Dead, found his calling as a singer/songwriter after exposure to the music of Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash . On his second album, "Love Ire & Song" (originally issued in 2008 in ...

  3. John Patitucci, "Remembrance"

    August 03, 2009 5:54 PM EDT 0 0 0 Jazz bassist John Patitucci enlisted a number of the genre's musicians for his 13th (and arguably best) album, "Remembrance," including spirited drummer Brian Blade and improviser extraordinaire saxophonist Joe Lovano. The album pays ...

  4. YACHT, "See Mystery Lights"

    August 03, 2009 5:40 PM EDT 0 0 0 Everything about the Portland, Ore.-based electornic duo YACHT is unconventional, from the band's obsession with triangles to its oddly alluring homemade music videos. YACHT's eccentricities are on full display on "See Mystery Lights, ...

  5. Discovery, "LP"

    July 27, 2009 6:24 PM EDT 0 0 0 Vampire Weekend keyboardist/producer Rostam Batmanglij and Ra Ra Riot singer Wes Miles are making bold moves this summer with their new experimental electro-pop musical project Discovery. Last year, each band released an album that appeared on the B ...

  6. Cage, "Depart From Me"

    July 27, 2009 6:19 PM EDT 0 0 0 Cage uses catchy hooks, guitar heavy melodies and '80s-inspired beats on his new album "Depart From Me" to relate a personal account of a life filled with abuse, drugs and violence. The New York rapper delves into his tormented childh ...

  7. George Strait, "Twang"

    July 27, 2009 6:09 PM EDT 0 0 0 George Strait put out his first album, "Strait Country," in 1981. After 28 years, you'd think it would be tough coming up with new twists to captivate audiences. But apparently not for King George, whose latest album, "Twang,&quo ...

  8. Magnolia Electric Co., "Josephine"

    July 27, 2009 6:04 PM EDT 0 0 0 Given Magnolia Electric Co. singer/guitarist Jason Molina's prolific presence in country-rock during the past decade, "Josephine," his first proper album in three years, feels like the end of a long drought. Backed by a fine team of m ...

  9. Pete Yorn, "Back and Fourth"

    July 24, 2009 5:39 PM EDT 0 0 0 Pete Yorn's songwriting has grown considerably since his 2001 debut album, "Musicforthemorningafter," where many fans discovered the New Jersey-based artist's music through placements on youth-aimed television shows and films. Th ...

  10. Dead Prez & DJ Green Lantern, "Pulse of the People"

    July 24, 2009 5:06 PM EDT 0 0 0 Brooklyn-based hip-hop duo Dead Prez has teamed up with producer DJ Green Lantern for "Pulse of the People," the third installment of the Dead Prez's mixtape series, "Turn Off the Radio." The new release is said to have been ...

  11. Our Lady Peace, "Burn Burn"

    July 24, 2009 4:55 PM EDT 0 0 0 Nearly four years have passed since Canadian rock band Our Lady Peace released a studio album and the band cut ties with longtime label Sony and producer Bob Rock. This newfound sense of freedom seems to have carried over to Our Lady Peace's se ...

  12. Jordin Sparks, "Battlefield"

    July 24, 2009 4:43 PM EDT 0 0 0 On her 2007 self-titled debut, former "American Idol" winner Jordin Sparks compared love to permanent body art and her entire supply of oxygen. Lyrical themes get a bit murkier on her appropriately titled sophomore effort, "Battlefiel ...

  13. Bill Frisell, "Disfarmer"

    July 21, 2009 11:35 AM EDT 0 0 0 The music of omnivorous guitarist Bill Frisell reflects an eclectic range of influences, including Thelonious Monk, John Hiatt and Boubacar Traore. On "Disfarmer," he draws inspiration from the Depression-era portraits of little-known Arka ...

  14. The Dead Weather, "Horehound"

    July 21, 2009 11:34 AM EDT 0 0 0 The debut album from Jack White 's new rock band the Dead Weather was recorded quickly at his Third Man studio/label/vinyl shop in Nashville. The propulsive 11-track "Horehound" finds the White Stripes and Raconteurs frontman every bi ...

  15. Daughtry, "Leave This Town"

    July 21, 2009 11:33 AM EDT 0 0 0 "American Idol" graduate Chris Daughtry established himself as a hard-driving rocker with his band's 2006 multiplatinum debut album. After an impressive couple of years, Daughtry and his band -Josh Steely (lead guitar), Brian Craddock ...

  16. Francisco Cespedes,"Te Acuerdas"

    July 21, 2009 11:32 AM EDT 0 0 0 Francisco Céspedes, who is nostalgic by nature, sings some of his old favorites on "Te Acuerdas" ("You Remember"). Backed by a band of contemporary Cuban jazz standouts, he shows his lighter side on treatments by the Spanish folk ...

  17. Gabriel Espinosa, "From Yucatan To Rio"

    July 21, 2009 11:30 AM EDT 0 0 0 Bassist Gabriel Espinosa leads a collection of distinguished players on this ear-pleasing album, which is partly a love letter to Brazil. With a wide array of musicians to help convey his message, the main triumph of "From Yucatan to Rio" ...

  18. Chali 2NA, "Fish Outta Water"

    July 21, 2009 11:29 AM EDT 0 0 0 Between serving as the Darth Vader-voiced de facto frontman of Jurassic 5 and maintaining a pace of guest appearances that would weary Talib Kweli , the Chicago-based baritone Chali 2na has done his share of small-group projects in recent years. So ...

  19. The Dandy Warhols, "The Dandy Warhols ARE Sound"

    July 21, 2009 11:27 AM EDT 0 0 0 The opening track of the Dandy Warhols ' 2003 album, "Welcome to the Monkey House," contains the lyrics, "When Michael Jackson dies, we're covering 'Blackbird,' " referring to the Paul McCartney -penned song w ...

  20. All Time Low, "Nothing Personal"

    July 21, 2009 11:26 AM EDT 0 0 0 All Time Low 's third full-length album plays like a veritable pop-punk frat party-"Stella" is a bouncy, booze-fueled anthem and "Lost in Stereo" tells a tale of unrequited love. But don't be fooled by the party-boy per ...

  21. Son Volt, "American Central Dust"

    July 21, 2009 11:25 AM EDT 0 0 0 Son Volt explored its ambitious side on 2007's "The Search," but the material on "American Central Dust" finds the Jay Farrar-led outfit downshifting to revisit the more straightforward approach of the alt-rock band's 1 ...

  22. Demi Lovato, "Here We Go Again"

    July 21, 2009 11:01 AM EDT 0 0 0 While some Disney artists rely heavily on Auto-Tune and layers of effects, Demi Lovato sounds best with stripped-down production. One example is "Catch Me," a perfect acoustic ballad found halfway through the 16-year-old singer's seco ...

  23. Shakira, "Loba"

    July 21, 2009 9:26 AM EDT 0 0 0 Shakira, "Loba" Album Review ...

  24. Daughtry, "Leave This Town"

    July 21, 2009 9:24 AM EDT 0 0 0 Daughtry, "Leave This Town" Album Review ...

  25. Polvo, "Beggar's Bowl"

    July 17, 2009 9:46 AM EDT 0 0 0 Polvo, "Beggar's Bowl" Album Review ...

  26. Killswitch Engage, " Killswitch Engage"

    July 17, 2009 9:37 AM EDT 0 0 0 Killswitch Engage, " Killswitch Engage" Album Review ...

  27. Jonas Brothers / July 15, 2009 / East Rutherford, NJ (IZOD Center)

    July 16, 2009 9:43 PM EDT 0 0 0 "This is not the circus…stand up!" Joe Jonas shouted to the audience Wednesday night (July 15) at the IZOD Center in New Jersey. "Yeah!" echoed his older sibling, Kevin Jonas. "We might be brothers, but we're not Barnum ...

  28. Plies, "Plenty Money"

    July 16, 2009 10:03 AM EDT 0 0 0 Plies, "Plenty Money" Album Review ...

  29. Moby, "Wait for Me"

    July 16, 2009 9:59 AM EDT 0 0 0 Moby, "Wait for Me" Album Review ...

  30. Nelly Furtado, "Manos Al Aire"

    July 15, 2009 10:27 AM EDT 0 0 0 Nelly Furtado, "Manos Al Aire" Album Review ...

  31. Jonas Brothers, "Lines, Vines and Trying Times"

    July 15, 2009 10:25 AM EDT 0 0 0 Jonas Brothers, "Lines, Vines and Trying Times" Album Review ...

  32. Wilco / July 13, 2009 / Brooklyn, NY (KeySpan Park)

    July 14, 2009 8:03 PM EDT 0 0 0 Wilco doesn't need special effects or a theatrical set for its live show. What other bands look to produce with those high-budget concert accessories, this one offers in the stage charisma of its frontman, Jeff Tweedy. Of course, special guest ...

  33. Andrew Bird / July 10, 2009 / Los Angeles (Greek Theatre)  

    July 14, 2009 6:51 PM EDT 0 0 0 “I am truly touched,” said a barefoot Andrew Bird, bashfully thanking the audience that had come to see his show for singing him a warm rendition of "Happy Birthday." Only Bird knows if it was his special day that brought out a particularl ...

  34. Jon Balke, "Siwan"

    July 13, 2009 12:46 PM EDT 0 0 0 Rarely during the course of a listening year does a recording strike such emotional depth as the Norwegian keyboardist / conductor Jon Balke 's latest ECM outing, the cross-cultural masterpiece "SIWAN." With a large cast of improvisin ...

  35. Ceu, "Vagarosa"

    July 13, 2009 12:20 PM EDT 0 0 0 The Brazilian singer/songwriter Céu debuted in 2007 with a self-titled album that drew critical favor and made her an immediate player in the Brazilian music scene. She returns with "Vagarosa," a collection of 13 tunes that will surely fur ...

  36. Jonas Brothers, "Lines, Vines and Trying Times"

    July 13, 2009 12:15 PM EDT 0 0 0 It's come to this: The Jonas Brothers are writing lyrics that include the word "bitch." To be fair, the term is just implied in the song "Poison Ivy." The full lyric is "Everybody gets the itch/Everybody hates that...&q ...

  37. Vicki Yohe, "Reveal Your Glory - Live From The Cathedral"

    July 13, 2009 12:09 PM EDT 0 0 0 "Reveal Your Glory-Live From the Cathedral" represents a couple of firsts for the gospel artist Vicki Yohe: It's her debut album for Shanachie (following two releases on CeCe Winans ' PureSprings label) and her first live CD. Rec ...

  38. John Mellencamp, "Life Death Live and Freedom"

    July 13, 2009 12:04 PM EDT 0 0 0 Recorded live in 2008, "Life Death Live and Freedom" is a companion piece to John Mellencamp 's acclaimed "Life Death Love and Freedom." That said, "Live" stands on its own. The eight-song album is an honest-to-goo ...

  39. Killswitch Engage, "Killswitch Engage"

    July 13, 2009 12:01 PM EDT 0 0 0 The Massachusetts metalcore band Killswitch Engage wants for neither talent nor fans. But the band's new album (and second self-titled set) reveals that it could use a helping hand to introduce some diversity to its songwriting. Strangely, the ...

  40. Maxwell, "BLACKsummers'night"

    July 13, 2009 11:57 AM EDT 0 0 0 The adage goes: Time gone, time lost. But for R&B singer Maxwell , who has been on a hiatus from music since 2002, it's as if he never left. Full of heart-pounding melodies and true-to-life love stories, "BLACKsummers'night" ...

  41. Moby, "Wait For Me"

    July 13, 2009 11:54 AM EDT 0 0 0 An about-face from last year's dancefloor-ready "Last Night," Moby 's ninth studio album, "Wait for Me," is a study in melancholy. Listeners won't hear reverberating 4/4 kick drums, hooky choruses or cooing club gi ...

  42. Vicente Fernández, "Necesito De Ti"

    July 13, 2009 11:18 AM EDT 0 0 0 Following the extraordinary success of his 2007 studio set "Para Siempre" and the subsequent live album "Primera Fila," the ranchera icon Vicente Fernández returns to the studio with "Neccesito De Ti." With the title tr ...

  43. Levon Helm, "Electric Dirt"

    July 13, 2009 10:53 AM EDT 0 0 0 Much like Bob Dylan 's "Together Through Life," Levon Helm 's "Electric Dirt" is less a collection of songs than a fully formed little world. A sprightly, worthy sequel to 2007's Grammy Award-winning "Dirt Far ...

  44. Rob Thomas, "Cradlesong"

    July 13, 2009 10:46 AM EDT 0 0 0 Rob Thomas is a musical chameleon. From his early hits with Matchbox Twenty to his soulful work as a solo artist, the gifted singer/songwriter has a knack for crafting memorable melodies across the musical divide. On "Cradlesong," his foll ...

  45. Conor Oberst & Jenny Lewis / July 4, 2009 / New York (Battery Park)

    July 09, 2009 7:15 PM EDT 0 0 0 A sea of blankets spread across the shady grounds of Battery Park as concertgoers gathered on a beautiful Fourth of July afternoon to see Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band with Jenny Lewis. The free event, part of the summer-long NYC River to ...

  46. Sonic Youth / July 3, 2009 / New York (United Palace Theatre)

    July 09, 2009 6:46 PM EDT 0 0 0 After returning to its indie label roots with the June release of "The Eternal," Sonic Youth rang in Independence Day weekend in the same city where it began causing an alt-rock ruckus more than 30 years ago. This time, the quintessential ...

  47. Kurt Elling, "Dedicated To You: Kurt Elling Sings The Music Of Coltrane And Hartman)

    July 07, 2009 4:35 PM EDT 0 0 0 Kurt Elling has never shied away from a challenge-the nimble singer has carved a unique place for himself in the jazz pantheon, with a signature sound that cunningly combines blues, ballads and beat-inspired poetry. On his eighth outing as a leader ...

  48. Dale Ann Bradley, "Don't Turn Your Back"

    July 07, 2009 4:33 PM EDT 0 0 0 With a stunningly beautiful voice, Dale Ann Bradley has won the International Bluegrass Music Assn.'s female vocalist of the year honor in 2007 and 2008. Her sweet and soulful soprano breathes life into this wonderful collection of songs that r ...

  49. Omar Faruk Tekbilek, "Rare Elements"

    July 07, 2009 4:31 PM EDT 0 0 0 The Turkish-born musician Omar Faruk Tekbilek is also a composer, and his music is the inspiration for this remix disc, the second installment in 5 Points Records' remix series. Tekbilek is a Sufi, and therefore his approach to music is mystica ...

  50. The Dear Hunter, "Act III: Life And Death"

    July 07, 2009 4:16 PM EDT 0 0 0 The Boston-based Dear Hunter shares any number of parallels with the similarly named groups Deerhunter and Deerhoof , most notably an animal namesake and a penchant for dramatic, dissonant, style-shifting rock. But the Dear Hunter's war-themed ...

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