"An album that works as both a blisteringly smart genre study that combines classic and contemporary perspectives on blues, soul, and R&B and as just one hell of a rock record, Brothers reaffirms that the Black Keys belong in any serious conversation about America's finest bands."
"They’ve always been able to create music to pair with this feeling of nostalgia but Beach House has somewhat, in a way, perfected their dream pop with Teen Dream, an album that flows like the beach and cascades with lush melodies, harmonies and fantastic gentleness."
"One of the 21st century's most intelligent and satisfying bands (musically, lyrically, emotionally) have once again set out their stall, and once again produced a work of inspired resonance, capturing truth after truth, in all its muddled, human realism."
"The Gaslight Anthem packs rich, lustrous songwriting into taut punk arrangements. Its casually observed storytelling, overflowing with detail, seethes with a cool desperation reminiscent of Mr. Springsteen in the late ’70s."
"They're as pure and unfiltered as good time rock'n'roll can get these days. But more specifically they take their sound from the glam, power pop and riff rock of the '70s, when T-Rex, Todd Rundgren and Thin Lizzy, respectively, crunched their chords and pushed just how sugary and electric rock'n'roll could get."
"LCD Soundsystem is the vehicle for New Yorker James Murphy's self-aware electronic/indie-rock crossover. Taking cues from 80s influences such as Gary Numan and Joy Division, Murphy mixes the organic and the synthetic, rock and electro, loud guitars and louder beats. Like any good dance producer, he excels at the art of tension and release."
"My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy is his most maniacally inspired music yet, coasting on heroic levels of dementia, pimping on top of Mount Olympus. Yeezy goes for the grandeur of stadium rock, the all-devouring sonics of hip-hop, the erotic gloss of disco, and he goes for all of it, all the time. Nobody halfway sane could have made this album."
"that is what Halcyon Digest is all about: nostalgia not for an era, not for antiquated technology, but for a feeling of excitement, of connection, of that dumb obsession that makes life worth living no matter how horrible it gets. And then sharing that feeling with somebody else"
"High Violet, the new full-length record by the National, is a nervy, melodic, explosive and beautiful set of songs that find the band at the height of their collaborative powers. The music is wide-ranging in its moods, by turns intimate and rough, expansive and spare, full of stark angles and atmosphere."
"It’s fair to say that with so much going on ‘Contra’ is much less immediate than its predecessor, requiring a bit of patience to uncover its true shades, contours and charm. But it’s certainly worth sticking with, because with their second album Vampire Weekend have escaped their collegiate niche without sacrificing their true essence."
"Frontman Ben Bridwell's airy vocals and cozy lyrics have stayed consistent, but the impressive production work by the band and Phil Ek places the gorgeous melodies front and center without sacrificing Band of Horses' rustic power."
"A folk band from Portland, Oregon, Horse Feathers consists of singer/songwriter Justin Ringle (acoustic guitar, vocals, percussion) and a rotating cast of supporting musicians, including multi-instrumentalist Peter Broderick and several string players."
"The Guitar Song quite firmly cements Johnson's place at the forefront of today's country music songwriters, performers, and singers. The fact that he had the courage to put out a 25-song album after achieving some success is not as significant as the courage he had to keep following his vision of what country music can and should be."
"What's less appreciated about the era chronicled on Promise is the large volume of exceptional music that didn't make the final cut, left to languish unheard except for a few live performances and covers by other artists -- until now."
"Wild Smile is the debut album from a foursome of endlessly creative Brooklynites with a keen ear for melody and a tasteful penchant for the dramatic. Surpassing the promise displayed on their debut EP, Suckers' first album is indie rock done right."
"This entry is for the new Girl Talk album "All Day" which is not available through Amazon because it is available as a free download at http://illegal-art.net/allday/...Mixing and morphing among a deep vein of ‘80s pop classics, ’90s alternative, and ’00s hip-hop tracks"
"MOTM2 is a cohesively constructed concept album that will reward repeat listens. His half-sung vocals, alternately surly and vulnerable, weave in and out of the mix along with distorted guitars, sweeping strings, twinkling harpsichords, ghostly samples, and who knows what else. No other major-label rapper in 2010 is pushing boundaries in quite the same way."
"Harlem River Blues straddles not only the Mason-Dixon, but time itself - a record that's perfect for late Indian summer nights on either the front porch or fire escape, Justin's found yet another way to be a timeless original. Justin won Best New & Emerging Artist at the 2009 Americana Music Awards."
"Menomena's newest work comes after a period of significant upheaval that has left them with no shortage of new ideas, and Mines is as good or better than anything they've done to-date. Menomena is still standing, and has made an album that many are already saying defines the state of intelligent pop music one decade into the millenium."
"Fang Island's self-titled second album is joyous despite its general lack of verses or choruses. It's fractured like any post-punk record while also speaking the language of classic rock, yet often feels like an intricate collage pieced together from elements that make songs memorable-- palm-muted power chords following wide-open intros, blistering solos, double-time outros."
"This is ostensibly a Civil War concept album, but these Jersey smartasses aren't going Decemberists on us. Rather, frontman Patrick Stickles, sounding like an agitated Conor Oberst. With five songs clocking in at more than seven minutes, often thanks to detours down E Street, it's a big-idea album that feels small and personable, even as it's kicking you in the shin."
"Lisbon is another great record in an admirably consistent discography. It's got a drive and precision to it we didn't see on the last record and it reminds us that, for all their intricacy and texture, The Walkmen are one of the great rock bands going."
"Odd Blood ultimately reveals that beneath all the weird sounds, tribal harmonies and otherworldly textures, Yeasayer are still a bunch of indie-rock sentimentalists. All in all, this is a rare sophomore album that widens the band's sound without narrowing its appeal."
"Congratulations unlocks a new musical world whirling in its own space/time grid infused with hints of music from the past five decades. Produced by MGMT and Sonic Boom, Congratulations is the successor to MGMT's Oracular Spectacular, the 2008 debut album. Soulful and complex, Congratulations is a surprising and delightful quantum step forward in MGMT's ongoing pop revolution."
"Plastic Beach is a full blown hip-hop/trip-hop album and a prime example of how to stray away from one genre to dominate another. If Albarn has done anything with this project, he has shown his knowledge of flawless production and the ability to create aesthetically pleasing tunes."
"George Lewis, Jr., who records under the moniker Twin Shadow, is one of the latest signees to Terrible Records, the imprint started by Grizzly Bear's Chris Taylor. The catchy and new wavey 'Castles in the Snow' subtly shifts between organic and synthetic textures, with guitars bumping into synths and drum machines next to tambourines."
"Ritter's sixth studio album, So Runs The World Away, marks the beginning of what Josh calls a ''new period'' in his life, and it's reflected in songs that he describes as ''more detailed and feel as if they were painted in oil on large canvasses.''"
"Mercer's knack for twisting and turning melodies is impeccably served by Burton, who tempers and fulfills those melodies with laid-back but elaborate scores of synth, piano, organ and sometimes a full string section, the only instruments not played by Burton or Mercer."
"The first thing that hits you about Grinderman 2 is that you've never heard anything like it. The debut album did its job. It defined the band. It marked a clear contrast with Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds. They cast off musical baggage, shrugged off accepted wisdom, and tested pre conceptions about who they were as musicians."
"Hot Chip have always been equally adept at producing floor fillers alongside songs of intimacy and melancholy and with 'one life stand' they have pulled off the rare trick of executing both at the same time, by lyrically declaring a personal and tender message within the confines of a tune that is infectious, deeply danceable, fortified and ready for the dancefloor."
"King of the Beach, the new Wavves album is an adventurous and ambitious record. It cuts deeper into the bleeding throat catharsis and '60s sunshine soul that Wavves is known for. It also unexpectedly flips out with elements of primitive electronics and psychedelic studio experimentation."
"All the hallmarks of the trip-hop sound are here: the hip-hop drum loops, the off-kilter guitar lines that sound like they were sampled from spy films, actual samples that probably are from old film scores, the dreamily atmospheric synths that cushion the beats like fluffy pillows, and most of all, vocalist Sarah Barthel’s whisper-sweet vocals."
"Soaring, sky-scraping harmonies, dreamy orchestral melodies, & throbbing tribal beats. Draws a line from the vocal stylings of Crosby Stills Nash & Young & the Zombies through the more esoteric edges of post-punk & Afro-beat."
"It may pretty much lack any semblance of conventional verse-chorus-verse structure, but for those who find the metronomic abstractions of this band soothing, Transference is exactly what you crave, unadorned."
"To some extent, Astro Coast comes off like a muscular, radio-ready version of music that would’ve been found on a limited-edition 45 back in the mid-’90s. But the way Surfer Blood balances escapism and grit is a neat trick, and one that never really loses its sense of wonder."
"Wild Nothing is the solo project of Virginia born Jack Tatum. Despite his youth (Tatum is in his early twenties) his music is the product of romantic nostalgia and an obsession with the sounds of the past. Reminiscent of The Cure, Cocteau Twins and My Bloody Valentine, the songs on 'Gemini' sound familiar but slightly warped, somehow revivalist and modern at the same time."
"Zola Jesus is the endeavor of a solitary girl named Nika Roza Danilova to simultaneously combat and invoke the approaching apocalypse using the only weapon/offering she has; her voice. After a decade of opera study and a musical awakening involving such varied inspiration as Billboard bubblegum, classical aria's, and no-wave, she was able to thread her influences into a sound uniquely her own."
"The Wild Hunt, the second release from Swedish guitar-twanging folksy master The Tallest Man On Earth (Kristian Matsson), is a graceful and beautiful advancement of form. Matsson has made a stunningly genuine folk record that compares favourably to staples of the genre dating back to Bob Dylan."
"The Morning Benders recorded the album in San Francisco and mixed it in Brookyln. Chris Chu and Chris Taylor (Grizzly Bear)produced it in eleven days. On the twelfth day they rejoiced. There are 10 tracks on BIG ECHO which THE MORNING BENDERS think is best length for an album. It should also be said that BIG ECHO is made of some of the most glorious pop music you'll hear this year or any year."