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Lenka | Lenka

Epic (2008)
A few months ago this pint-sized diva from Down Under posted a cutesy rendition of Modest Mouse’s “Gravity Rides Everything” to her MySpace page.  
By MIKAEL WOOD  |  October 01, 2008


Jem | Down to Earth

ATO (2008)
The songs broadcast their emotional content — anxiety, melancholy, resilience — with a straightforwardness you rarely hear outside children’s music.
By MIKAEL WOOD  |  September 23, 2008


Lindsey Buckingham | Gift of Screws

The great thing about Buckingham is that even his experiments are catchy, and this ensures that Screws doesn’t buckle under the weight of his pop-savant ambition.
By MIKAEL WOOD  |  September 16, 2008



Motörizer | Steamhammer/SPV
In these unsettling times of geopolitical instability around the globe and economic chaos here at home, it’s nice to know that we can depend on Motörhead.
By MIKAEL WOOD  |  September 02, 2008



Love on the Inside | Mercury Nashville
Jennifer Nettles and Kristian Bush aren’t afraid to get a little goofy for the sake of a laugh.
By MIKAEL WOOD  |  August 04, 2008


Mike Gordon

The Green Sparrow | Rounder
Phish phans biding their time for the jam band’s all-but-confirmed reunion should find plenty to occupy themselves with on this second solo album by bassist Mike Gordon.
By MIKAEL WOOD  |  July 29, 2008


John Mellencamp | Life Death Love and Freedom

Hear Music
The arrangements are sparse compared with those of Mellencamp’s pop hits — many don’t even allow drums — but they’re rich with textural detail.
By MIKAEL WOOD  |  July 15, 2008


Jenny Scheinman

You might recognize Jenny Scheinman’s name from the liner notes of one of the many high-profile releases on which she’s appeared as a jazz violinist.
By MIKAEL WOOD  |  May 27, 2008


Carolina Liar

Coming to Terms | Atlantic
Highly recommended to those unafraid of late-period Bon Jovi.
By MIKAEL WOOD  |  May 20, 2008


Phil Stacey

Lyric Street
No coincidence that Phil Stacey was interesting on Idol only when he sang songs that emphasized his creepiness — “Every Breath You Take,” for instance.
By MIKAEL WOOD  |  May 06, 2008


Flight of the Concords

Sub Pop
Given my choice of late-night HBO comedy series about foul-mouthed acoustic duos with inflated senses of self-importance, I’ll take Tenacious D over Flight of the Conchords every time.
By MIKAEL WOOD  |  April 29, 2008


Better than Madonna

Pop stars with product to move
Everybody dug Confessions on a Dance Floor , but I’m one of approximately 12 people who liked American Life , Madonna’s weirdly militant 2003 disc.
By MIKAEL WOOD  |  January 28, 2010


Tapes N' Tapes

Walk It Off | XL
Last time we heard from this young Minneapolis quartet — and if you spend any time on the Internet, you heard a lot — the story had little to do with music.
By MIKAEL WOOD  |  April 15, 2008


Tristan Prettyman

Hello | Virgin
This sophomore set by San Diego–based Tristan Prettyman doesn’t warrant its statement-making title.
By MIKAEL WOOD  |  April 02, 2008


Solo shot

Gary Louris leaves the Jayhawks behind
Gary Louris had no grand designs for the beginning of his solo career.
By MIKAEL WOOD  |  March 25, 2008



Dive Deep | Ultra
He’s Morcheeba’s best bet for avoiding a trip to snoozytown.
By MIKAEL WOOD  |  March 25, 2008


Xiu Xiu

Women as Lovers | Kill Rock Stars
Jamie Stewart has been releasing recordings at such a steady clip since 2002 that you might expect him to have run out of new ways to provoke discomfort.
By MIKAEL WOOD  |  March 18, 2008


Be Your Own Pet

Get Awkward | Ecstatic Peace/Universal
Blonde-bombshell frontwoman Jemina Pearl and her mates haven’t exactly reached maturity.
By MIKAEL WOOD  |  March 12, 2008



Autumn Fallin' | Blue Note
“Where’s my morning coffee?”, Jaymay wonders in “Sea Green, See Blue,” a cut from the New York–based singer-songwriter’s major-label debut.
By MIKAEL WOOD  |  March 04, 2008


Allison Moorer

Mockingbird | New Line
Working with producer Buddy Miller, Moorer takes an approach opposite to Lynne’s on the stripped-down Lovin’ , giving each track its own distinct personality.
By MIKAEL WOOD  |  February 26, 2008
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