"(Out: 1/18/11) Wonderful range of tunes, from the Springsteen-esque "Down by the Water" to the Irish rocker "Rox in the Box." As always clever lyrics loaded with all sorts of allusions, historical references."
"(Out: 1/25/11) Dan Bejar has such an interesting, unique voice. Here his whispery, half-talking, half singing style is set into some beautiful jazz arrangments with lots of intersting sax, trumpet flourishes (and even a pan flute prominently played in 1 song). A great female lead back-up vocalist provides a perfect complement to him. Faves: The title track and "Savage Night at the Opera.""
"(Out: 3/1/11) Great songs from the "supergroup" of Taylor Goldsmith (of Dawes), Matt Vasquez (Delta Spirit), and John McCauley (Deer Tick). All great tunes, I esp. like "Middle Brother," "Million Dollar Bill," and "Me, Me, Me.""
"(Out: 3/1/11) Great 2nd album, following up the outstanding "Hometowns." Standout tracks are the uptemp rockers, "Stamp," "Tornado '87," "Muscle Relaxants" and "Barnes Yard," but the slower tempo stuff, "Two Lovers" and "Goodnight" are equally good. Nils Edenloff has a very cool voice, and Amy Cole provides great back-up and occasional counterpoint."
"(Out: 3/22/11). Music critics weren't entirely kind, but it's a good return to form. "Under Cover of Darkness" and "Taken for a Fool" and "Gratisfaction" sound like classic Strokes tunes. Julian still a very cool singer."
"(Out: 4/12/11) Okay more folk than alt, but a great album. Fantastic voice that he modulates in lots of interesting ways, clever lyrics, lots of interesting tempo shifts. Faves: "Make you fall in love with me" & "Little Cosmic Girl," but all tracks standouts."
"(Out: 5/3/11) Beautiful folk music. Robin Pecknold has a fabulous high-pitched voice. It's supported by gorgeous harmonizing and guitar, mandolin & violin work, delivered in that Appalachian style with some contemporary production flourishes. Fave: "Tbe Shrine/An Argument," which keeps shifting mood and tempo to brilliant effect."
"(Out: 5/3/11) Baritone Tom Fleming and tenor, but mostly falsetto-singing Hayden Thorpe, have two of the most interesting voices you could listen to. Bold lyrics and daring love songs are built with lush, synthesizer, guitar and piano accompaniment. Faves: "Reach a Bit Further" that juxtaposes Tom & Hayden's singing in a marvelous way, and "Loop the Loop" about the difficulties of forgiving."
"(Out 6/6/11) After the band Pelas broke up, two members stayed together to form this group. Lead singer Billy McCarthy has a great, great voice and he sings with incredible passion. Several songs here are based on the tragic life and death of his schizophrenic brother, James. Incredibly moving stuff that's great to listen to."
"(Out: 6/7/2011) Not the hard-rushing, punk-edged tunes of their early days getting disrepected at Manchester night clubs, nor the grating, tempo-shifting stuff of Humbug. Just some great love songs with Alex's typical clever lyrics. Faves include: "Hellcat Spangled Shalala," "Reckless Serenade" and "That's Where You're Wrong.""
"(Out: 8/30/11) Very different style -- no chorus with hook then verse song structure. Densely packed lyrics like Craig Finn of Hold Steady. Just amazing, mind-bending stuff when you're in the mood for something different. Joseph D'Agostino has a cool voice."
"(Out: 9/13/11) From country to hard-rocker, such a a mix of styles. Eric Earley is such a talent, and his bandmates back him expertly. Like the others here, they are a great live show show, too. Just sample "Love the Way You Walk Away" and you'll be eager for more."
"(Out: 9/20/11) One great song after the next. Love the upbeat stuff like "Maniac" and "Hysterical" but the slower tempo tunes like "In a Motel" are great and the 7-plus minute "Adam's Plane" is a mini-epic. (Just wished they'd offer lyrics, Alec's vocals often hard to understand!)"
"(Out: 10/4/11) A great album from this Scottish post-punk band. Great hard-rocking tunes, like "Circles and Squares," "Through the Dirt and the Gravel" with insightful, literate lyrics, and then some great work when they slow things down a bit, like "Pear Tree." Adam Thompson has a great voice, and not so heavily accented that it would be hard (for an American like me) to make out the lyrics."
"(Out: 10/24/11) Band tries to create the raucous atmosphere of their live shows and they do with songs like "Let's All Go to the Bar" and "Mr. Bump," but there are also a few, sweet slower songs like "Miss K" and "Love is a Funny Word." Big surprise is how great drummer Dennis sounds on "Clownin' Around" and Ian's 2 songs are nice & bluesy."
"(Out: 10/11/11) Much as I admire Hendrix, heavy blues guitar in the 70s psychedlic style isn't normally my top preference but there's something very infectious about the sound these guys put out. It'll get your adrenaline pumping."
"(Out: 12/6/11) Different from Brothers -- a little less bluesy, less falsetto singing from Dan (which I liked), but a great album in its own right. Standout tracks for me: "Dead and Gone," "Run Right Back," "Hell of a Season" and "Nova Baby," but they're all good!"