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Justice | Audio, Video, Disco

Elektra/WEA (2011)
It takes only a second into "Horsepower," the gurgling, raging first track on Justice's second full-length, to realize these nutso French geniuses are operating on another electronic plane: a kingdom ruled by distorted synth-bass and overblown rhythms, a wonderland of carousel keyboards and unstoppable funkiness.
By: RYAN REED  |  October 25, 2011


Real Estate | Days

Domino (2011)
"Easy," the rousing opener from Real Estate's sophomore studio effort, certainly has an appropriate title.
By: RYAN REED  |  October 18, 2011


The evolving conceptual sounds of Neon Indian

Heightened Era
Chillwave, a genre that blends bedroom-level production values with glowing synth-based atmospherics and vocals focused more on disconnected drizzle than tangible emotion, is the embodiment of how to disappear completely. At the forefront is Neon Indian's Alan Palomo: an Afro'd, baby-faced 23-year-old with two acclaimed LPs under his belt, including last month's excellent Era Extrana (Mom + Pop).
By: RYAN REED  |  October 12, 2011


M83 | Hurry Up, We're Dreaming

Mute (2011)
"City is my church!" sings Anthony Gonzalez, flustered and passionate, engulfed by the head-rush synths and galactic beats of his instant-classic "Midnight City."
By: RYAN REED  |  October 12, 2011


Feist | Metals

Cherrytree/Interscope (2011)
Feist should be making perfect albums every time.
By: RYAN REED  |  October 05, 2011


Bjork | Biophilia

Nonesuch (2011)
What the hell is Biophilia ?
By: RYAN REED  |  September 27, 2011


Clap Your Hands Say Yeah | Hysterical

Red General Catalog (2011)
Deploying the magic touch of indie producer-superhero John Congleton, these five musicians have never sounded more like a rock band, and these 12 spacious, dreamy excursions benefit from the added muscle.
By: RYAN REED  |  September 20, 2011


Mates of State | Mountaintops

Barsuk (2011)
As the sequenced synths and handsome beats unfold, matched in merriment by the husband-and-wife vocals of Jason Hammel and Kori Gardner, your mind is miles away from the raging fires of the underworld.
By: RYAN REED  |  September 13, 2011


Cymbals Eat Guitars | Lenses Alien

Barsuk (2011)
It's the most indie-rock-sounding thing you'll hear all year — which means, briefly, Cymbals Eat Guitars sound kinda-sorta conventional.
By: RYAN REED  |  September 07, 2011


CSS | La Liberacion

Downtown Records (2011)
On their third album, Brazilian dance-rock quintet CSS (Cansei de Ser Sexy) make baby steps toward maturation, but old habits die hard.
By: RYAN REED  |  August 23, 2011


Gold Leaves | The Ornament

Hardly Art (2011)
Grant Olsen, former strummer for Seattle folk duo Arthur & Yu, took the better part of four years to craft The Ornament, his solo coming out party as Gold Leaves.
By: RYAN REED  |  August 11, 2011


Fountains of Wayne | Sky Full of Holes

Yep Roc (2011)
Sky Full of Holes, the first Fountains album in four years, is another reminder of why the band deserve some limelight of their own.
By: RYAN REED  |  August 03, 2011

BT list

Big Talk | Big Talk

Epitaph (2011)
Following in the footsteps of perpetually uncool drummer-turned-solo artists Phil Collins and Don Henley, Killers stick-man Ronnie Vannucci tries his hand at writing '80s arena anthems while his main gig takes a time-out.
By: RYAN REED  |  July 26, 2011

reptar list

Reptar | Oblangle Fizz, Y'all

Vagrant Records (2011)
"Blastoff" (bonus points for perfect song titles) is simply an un-fucking-believable opener — an exercise in demented excess that only gets better the more you peel it apart.
By: RYAN REED  |  July 19, 2011

New album from Little Dragon called Ritual Union

Little Dragon | Ritual Union

Peacefrog Records (2011)
On Ritual Union, the third full-length from these mechanical soul weirdos, Little Dragon have managed to get way catchier and also a great deal stranger.
By: RYAN REED  |  July 12, 2011

jb list

Junior Boys | It's All True

Domino (2011)
With its disco-bass pulse, jet-engine synths, and seductive half-time chorus, "Itchy Fingers" kicks things off by demonstrating the Boys' finesse for tricked-out, ass-shaking programmed grooves.
By: RYAN REED  |  June 22, 2011

Battles, Gloss Drop

Battles | Gloss Drop

Warp (2011)
In an twist of musical irony, the New York nutsos in Battles lose their most prominent member — vocalist/guitarist/sound manipulator Tyondai Braxton — and end up sounding more like an actual band.
By: RYAN REED  |  June 07, 2011

l mmj

My Morning Jacket | Circuital

ATO (2011)
If there's any band in the universe that knows the meaning of power, it's Kentucky's My Morning Jacket, a five-piece that thrives, more than anything, on the thunder of five hairy men playing instruments together in a room.
By: RYAN REED  |  May 25, 2011

list man man

Man Man | Life Fantastic

Anti (2011)
Man Man fans probably weren't expecting "Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head"–levels of optimism from the happy-titled Life Fantastic, but the vibe on the Philly-based band's fourth album is pretty morbid, even by their standards.
By: RYAN REED  |  May 26, 2011

oc list

Owl City | All Things Bright and Beautiful

Universal Republic (2011)
Odds are, if you're reading this review, you're not looking for an Owl City purchase recommendation.
By: RYAN REED  |  May 12, 2011

BB list

Beastie Boys | Hot Sauce Committee Part Two

Capitol Records (2011)
"Back on the mic, it's the anti-depressor," flows King Ad-Rock over raunchy drums and speaker-busting clavinet in "Make Some Noise," the bravado launching pad of Beastie Boys' eighth studio album.
By: RYAN REED  |  May 06, 2011

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