1. Matt & Kim, "Sidewalks"

    November 05, 2010 5:19 PM EDT 0 0 0 Brooklyn indie-pop duo Matt & Kim have always been a dance party type of band. But the beat on the pair's latest album, "Sidewalks," suggests that keyboardist/vocalist Matt Johnson and drummer Kim Schifino have been spending more ...

  2. Fania All Stars, "Ponte Duro: The Fania All Stars Story"

    November 05, 2010 5:03 PM EDT 0 0 0 Reissues from the storied Latin label Fania have been a blessing of the new music era. Fans can rejoice again at the release of the four-disc boxed set "Ponte Duro: The Fania All Stars Story." The release guarantees a revelation for anyone ...

  3. Good Charlotte, "Cardiology"

    November 05, 2010 4:52 PM EDT 0 0 0 Early on "Cardiology," Good Charlotte singer Joel Madden declares that "we'll stay young forever." A decade and five albums into its career, the rock band certainly sounds as youthful as ever. But age has brought some more m ...

  4. Susan Boyle, "The Gift"

    November 05, 2010 4:46 PM EDT 0 0 0 "The Gift," the second release from famed "Britain's Got Talent" contestant Susan Boyl e, is a bit of a tweener: mostly a holiday album and partly a follow-up to last year's massively successful "I Dreamed a Dream. ...

  5. Warpaint, "The Fool"

    October 29, 2010 2:47 PM EDT 0 0 0 Willowy Los Angeles art-rock group Warpaint summons a remarkably heady atmosphere on its debut album, "The Fool," which follows a buzzed-about EP released last year on Los Angeles-based indie Manimal Vinyl. On the song "Bees," gu ...

  6. Liz Phair, "Funstyle"

    October 29, 2010 2:45 PM EDT 0 0 0 Alternative rocker Liz Phair surprised fans when she posted tracks from her newest album, "Funstyle," on her website in July. The eclectic set is the singer's first release in five years and will be packaged with a set of demos and ra ...

  7. Dave Koz, "Hello Tomorrow"

    October 22, 2010 11:41 AM EDT 0 0 0 Saxophonist Dave Koz brings the funk on "Hello Tomorrow," certainly more so than the smooth jazz poster boy has on previous efforts since the 1990s. Some of that credit goes to Koz' new production team of Marcus Miller and John Burk, ...

  8. Lil Wayne, "I Am Not a Human Being"

    October 22, 2010 11:38 AM EDT 0 0 0 Lil Wayne's latest album, "I Am Not a Human Being," is not as experimental as the rapper's previous rock-tinged "Rebirth" set that arrived earlier this year, and most fans will likely appreciate this. But it doesn' ...

  9. Joshua Radin, "The Rock and the Tide

    October 22, 2010 11:33 AM EDT 0 0 0 Joshua Radin goes for a certain irony on his third album, "The Rock and the Tide," ending the set with a reprise of "Brand New Day," the cheeriest track from 2008's "Simple Times." His declaration that "I' ...

  10. Shakira, "Sale el Sol"

    October 22, 2010 11:29 AM EDT 0 0 0 Shakira's album material seems to strike a much purer chord in Spanish. Her latest project, "Sale el Sol," is no exception. It's a mix of uptempo dance tracks based on traditional Latin rhythms like merengue, hard-kicking rock tr ...

  11. The Band Perry, "The Band Perry"

    October 22, 2010 11:24 AM EDT 0 0 0 Alabama-bred sibling trio the Band Perry has already built anticipation for its full-length debut, primarily with the top 20 country singles "Hip to My Heart" and the gold "If I Die Young." Expectations can backfire, but in this ...

  12. Brian Eno, "Small Craft on a Milk Sea"

    October 22, 2010 11:17 AM EDT 0 0 0 Drawing on his art-rock work with David Byrne as well as his pioneering ambient output, master producer Brian Eno has released the sonic component of a three-act play with "Small Craft on a Milk Sea," his debut album on Warp Records. Recor ...

  13. Marco Antonio Solís, "En Total Plenitud"

    October 22, 2010 11:11 AM EDT 0 0 0 Marco Antonio Solís didn't title his new album, "En Total Plenitud" ("Fully Realized"), after a track, but after a sentiment. Although the 12-song set primarily comprises romantic ballads, most of them potential singles, the ...

  14. Guster, "Easy Wonderful"

    October 15, 2010 6:14 PM EDT 0 0 0 Guster fans expecting a more mellow sound from the band are in for a rude awakening. The group's latest release, "Easy Wonderful," is the quartet's most upbeat album to date. Arriving four years after "Ganging Up on the Sun, ...

  15. Faith Evans, "Something About Faith"

    October 15, 2010 6:10 PM EDT 0 0 0 In the '90s, Faith Evans was on the verge of becoming one of the dominating R&B powerhouses of her generation. But other than a recent DUI arrest, the Notorious B.I.G. 's widow has been removed from the public eye for the past five yea ...

  16. Belle & Sebastian, "Write About Love"

    October 15, 2010 6:03 PM EDT 0 0 0 On its eighth full-length release, Glasgow, Scotland, indie pop group Belle & Sebastian ditch their sad-vibes-hidden-by-happy-melodies schtick in favor of legitimately upbeat songs. "Write About Love," Belle & Sebastian's foll ...

  17. The Secret Sisters, "The Secret Sisters"

    October 15, 2010 5:50 PM EDT 0 0 0 The Secret Sisters are certainly out in the open now, thanks to a vinyl single with Jack White and a debut album done under the patronage of executive producer T Bone Burnett . The two auteurs' interest in the Alabama duo is hardly surprising, ...

  18. Far*East Movement, "Free Wired"

    October 15, 2010 5:36 PM EDT 0 0 0 If Justin Timberlake recorded a "FutureSex/LoveSounds 2.0," it could very well have sounded like Los Angeles Asian-American group Far*East Movement 's debut album, "Free Wired." The set explodes with strong hooks, synths and ...

  19. Die Antwoord, "$O$"

    October 15, 2010 5:26 PM EDT 0 0 0 Since its 2009 formation, Die Antwoord has been something to rave about, quite literally. The South African trio, whose name means "The Answer" in Afrikaans, spins its hip-hop in a decidedly dance-club direction. The group uses electronic ...

  20. Buddy Guy, "Living Proof"

    October 15, 2010 4:22 PM EDT 0 0 0 Buddy Guy proudly announces himself as "74 Years Young" at the outset of his latest album, "Living Proof." But the guitar legend still plays with the energy of a teenager-albeit a highly talented one-just starting out. And when h ...

  21. Keith Urban, "Put You In A Song"

    October 08, 2010 5:59 PM EDT 0 0 0 "Put You in a Song," the first single from Keith Urban 's forthcoming album "Get Closer," features the most infectious aspects of his signature style. A vibrant melody is matched with driving guitars, a clever set of lyrics ...

  22. Fran Healy, "Wreckorder"

    October 08, 2010 5:50 PM EDT 0 0 0 Travis singer Fran Healy recruited a pair of high-profile pals for help on his first solo disc, "Wreckorder." On the Beatles -esque track "As It Comes," that's none other than Paul McCartney playing bass, while Neko Case sho ...

  23. Toby Keith, "Bullets In The Gun"

    October 08, 2010 5:47 PM EDT 0 0 0 Toby Keith has been writing and playing country music long enough to know every one of its conventions-and how to twist them around. "Bullets in the Gun" is his 14th studio set overall and fifth for his own Show Dog label. It's full o ...

  24. Tricky, "Mixed Race"

    October 08, 2010 5:41 PM EDT 0 0 0 Tricky , the Bristol-born godfather of trip-hop, filters his influences unlike any other artist. He's not reverent or iconoclastic; neither seamy nor seamless. But while his music, especially in the post-trip-hop period, openly nods to an army ...

  25. Donavon Frankenreiter, "Glow"

    October 08, 2010 5:34 PM EDT 0 0 0 Donavon Frankenreiter released his self-titled 2004 debut through his surf buddy Jack Johnson 's label Brushfire. And three studio albums later he's still swimming in the same balmy beach-folk waters. "I wanna see your daylight shinin ...

  26. Kings of Leon, "Come Around Sundown"

    October 08, 2010 5:31 PM EDT 0 0 0 In an interview during their summer tour, Kings of Leon drummer Nathan Followill said that a lot of fans-lured to their concerts by recent propulsive stadium anthems like "Sex on Fire" and record of the year Grammy Award winner "Use S ...

  27. Michael W. Smith, "Wonder"

    October 08, 2010 5:27 PM EDT 0 0 0 "Wonder" might be Michael W. Smith 's 22nd album, but the veteran singer/ songwriter has never sounded more compelling or impassioned. Teaming once again with producer Bryan Lenox, who helmed Smith's albums "Freedom" an ...

  28. Hank Williams, "The Complete Mother's Best Recordings . . . Plus!"

    October 08, 2010 5:13 PM EDT 0 0 0 In Merle Haggard 's song "The Way It Was in '51," the singer/ songwriter recalls, "66 was still a narrow, two-lane highway/ Harry Truman was the man who ran the show/The bad Korean War was just beginning/ Hank and Lefty crow ...

  29. Deerhunter, "Halcyon Digest"

    October 01, 2010 4:20 PM EDT 0 0 0 It's no coincidence that "Halcyon Digest," the fourth album from Atlanta indie-rock act Deerhunter , was partly produced by Ben Allen, who also had a hand in Animal Collective's 2009 album, "Merriweather Post Pavilion." ...

  30. Gin Blossoms, "No Chocolate Cake"

    October 01, 2010 4:13 PM EDT 0 0 0 The Gin Blossoms continue to concoct melodic hooks framed by a mix of jangly alternative pop-rock on the band's newest album, "No Chocolate Cake." While its 1992 breakthrough, "New Miserable Experience," was powered by the p ...

  31. Sufjan Stevens, "The Age of Adz"

    October 01, 2010 4:11 PM EDT 0 0 0 Listeners who fell in love with Sufjan Stevens for his rustic Americana sound, Christian undertones or ambitious "50 states" project are in for a rude awakening with his latest album, "The Age of Adz." Stevens followed 2005' ...

  32. Gucci Mane, "The Appeal: Georgia's Most Wanted"

    October 01, 2010 4:03 PM EDT 0 0 0 Less than a year after releasing his major-label debut, and just a handful of months since being freed from jail, Atlanta rapper Gucci Mane is back with new album "The Appeal: Georgia's Most Wanted." The set-which features guest appea ...

  33. Neil Young, "Le Noise"

    October 01, 2010 3:59 PM EDT 0 0 0 Neil Young's latest solo effort, "Le Noise," is something of a capsule dive into the influential artist's stream of consciousness. Producer Daniel Lanois (for whom the album is named) surrounds Young and his electric guitar with ...

  34. Bad Religion, "The Dissent of Man"

    October 01, 2010 3:53 PM EDT 0 0 0 Every two or three years you can count on a new batch of high-energy, politically minded punk tunes from these Southern California kings, and "The Dissent of Man" delivers what Bad Religion fans have come to expect. During the track " ...

  35. Seal, "Commitment"

    October 01, 2010 3:48 PM EDT 0 0 0 With roots in Britain's house music/rave scene, Seal has also migrated into pop and dance during his career. Then in 2008, the singer/songwriter detoured into R&B on the uneven album "Soul," turning his husky baritone loose on suc ...

  36. Mavis Staples, "You Are Not Alone"

    September 24, 2010 11:36 AM EDT 0 0 0 Very few voices qualify as national treasures. Mavis Staples' glorious rasp is one of them. Coming off critical acclaim for her 2007 collection of civil rights-era songs, "We'll Never Turn Back," and a 2008 live album, Staples jo ...

  37. Luis Miguel, "Luis Miguel"

    September 24, 2010 11:33 AM EDT 0 0 0 Mexican superstar Luis Miguel possesses one of the most distinctive and wonderful voices of his generation; a much-lauded, versatile instrument that's unparalleled in its interpretation of traditional Mexican music, standards and ballads. Less ...

  38. Brandon Flowers, "Flamingo"

    September 24, 2010 11:22 AM EDT 0 0 0 The Killers frontman hardly viewed his solo debut as an opportunity to downsize. Produced by an unlikely dream team comprising electro-dance hotshot Stuart Price, radio-rock specialist Brendan O'Brien and Neil Young / Bob Dylan confidant Daniel ...

  39. Serj Tankian, "Imperfect Harmonies"

    September 24, 2010 11:16 AM EDT 0 0 0 When Serj Tankian brings his voice and composing skills to a project, you know you're in for a three-ring sonic circus. His second solo album, "Imperfect Harmonies," adds even more aural tricks and trapeze acts. The System of a Down f ...

  40. Michael Franti and Spearhead, "The Sound of Sunshine"

    September 24, 2010 11:05 AM EDT 0 0 0 You can't really blame Michael Franti for titling one track on his new studio album "Hey Hey Hey." After all, it was "Say Hey (I Love You)," from 2008's "All Rebel Rockers," that finally brought this Bay Area ...

  41. Billy Currington, "Enjoy Yourself"

    September 24, 2010 10:52 AM EDT 0 0 0 With his rich tenor and relaxed delivery, Billy Currington knows how to put a tear in your beer. But the truth is, he'd rather drink it instead. Currington tells us that much in "Pretty Good at Drinkin' Beer," the cheeky first si ...

  42. Fistful of Mercy, "As I Call You Down"

    September 24, 2010 10:26 AM EDT 0 0 0 This new Los Angeles-based supergroup unites jam-folk veterans Joseph Arthur and Ben Harper with George Harrison's son, Dhani, who in 2008 released the debut by his band thenewno2. Slightly psychedelic, mostly acoustic and uniformly tuneful, Fi ...

  43. The Vaselines, "Sex With an X"

    September 17, 2010 6:29 PM EDT 0 0 0 Glasgow, Scotland, indie-pop duo the Vaselines have finally released the follow-up to their much-revered debut, "Dum Dum"-21 years after its original release. Not that the decades-long layoff has dulled Frances McKee and Eugene Kelly ' ...

  44. Linkin Park, "A Thousand Suns"

    September 17, 2010 6:24 PM EDT 0 0 0 Linkin Park has certainly tinkered with its sound during the course of its previous three albums. But on its latest release, "A Thousand Suns," the six-piece rock act truly breaks the habit of everything we've heard from it before. Th ...

  45. Eric Clapton, "Clapton"

    September 17, 2010 6:15 PM EDT 0 0 0 Consider Eric Clapton 's 19th solo album a largely successful bid to be all things to all people, including himself. The broadly eclectic, guest-filled "Clapton"-his first studio outing since 2006's Grammy Award-winning "The ...

  46. Sara Bareilles, "Kaleidoscope Heart"

    September 17, 2010 6:12 PM EDT 0 0 0 Sara Bareilles returns with more bouncy and intricate piano melodies on her sophomore album, "Kaleidoscope Heart." The set mirrors several older periods, ranging from the '20s Southern gospel a cappella title track to the mid-century ...

  47. The Thermals, "Personal Life"

    September 17, 2010 6:06 PM EDT 0 0 0 It's hard to believe the Thermals haven't produced a hit single in their eight-year career. After all, the Portland, Ore., trio's alt-rock tracks are packed with more hooks than a Justin Bieber song. Even if the band never reaches the ...

  48. Jerry Lee Lewis, "Mean Old Man"

    September 17, 2010 5:55 PM EDT 0 0 0 "If I look like a mean old man," 74-year-old Jerry Lee Lewis informs listeners at the start of his first album in four years, "that's what I am." He will always be the Killer, enveloped by the legends of his past. But one on ...

  49. Interpol, "Interpol"

    September 17, 2010 5:51 PM EDT 0 0 0 Interpol 's self-titled fourth album suffers from everything the band did right on its first three albums. With the members' slick guitar interplay, taut production and Paul Banks ' weirdly engrossing lyrics, the New York indie rock t ...

  50. Nelly, "Just a Dream"

    September 10, 2010 6:14 PM EDT 0 0 0 The last time Nelly saw the top 10 of any Billboard chart was in 2006, when "Grillz" hit No. 1 on the Hot 100. The "Hot in Herre" rapper makes a strong re-entry with his latest single, "Just a Dream," which debuts at No ...

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