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Scott Walker | Bish Bosch

4AD (2012)
Scott Walker's late-period about-face is one of the strangest in the annals of pop music.
By: ZETH LUNDY  |  November 27, 2012


Bill Withers | The Complete Sussex and Columbia Albums

Columbia/Legacy (2012)
Bill Withers has always been the down-to-earth, odd-man-out of the '70s soul brothers: he's the one who came bearing a lunch box on the cover of his relaxed 1971 debut, Just as I Am .
By: ZETH LUNDY  |  October 31, 2012


R.E.M. | Document [25th Anniversary Edition]

Capitol/I.R.S. Records (2012)
Fans of R.E.M. enjoy arguing over which album was the band's true shark-jump, but 1987's Document was inarguably the end of a groundbreaking era.
By: ZETH LUNDY  |  September 19, 2012


Richard Hawley | Standing at the Sky's Edge

Mute (2012)
Richard Hawley's seventh studio album opens with "She Brings the Sunlight," a clouds-parting, hippy-dippy drone explosion that plays like "Tomorrow Never Knows" caught in the echo of a football stadium.
By: ZETH LUNDY  |  September 04, 2012


Bob Mould | Silver Age

Merge (2012)
Now that he's getting love as a godfather figure from both sides of the indie/mainstream divide (see No Age and Foo Fighters, for starters), Bob Mould is again playing like he has something to prove — or at least an iconography to maintain.
By: ZETH LUNDY  |  August 28, 2012


Ry Cooder | Election Special

Nonesuch (2012)
Ry Cooder's spur-of-the-moment (or is it heat-of-the-moment?) political album opens like any good political album should, with a rollicking blues song told from the point of view of Mitt Romney's dog.
By: ZETH LUNDY  |  August 14, 2012


Antibalas | Antibalas

Daptone (2012)
As its simple title would suggest, the fifth album from the Brooklyn Afrobeat torchbearers gets back to basics.
By: ZETH LUNDY  |  August 13, 2012


Blur | 21

EMI (2012)
Best Britpop band? That’s a question of taste — though if your answer is Oasis, you’re probably wrong, and if your answer is Blur, you’re probably right.
By: ZETH LUNDY  |  July 24, 2012

Micachu & The Shapes -- Never

Micachu & The Shapes | Never

Rough Trade (2012)
Like her stylistic sista Merrill Garbus of tUnE-yArDs, Micachu's Mica Levi makes pixelated, abstract anti-pop that sounds like marionettes jamming in an aluminum factory.
By: ZETH LUNDY  |  July 17, 2012


Grasscut | Unearth

Ninja Tune (2012)
Grasscut are ascension music: each measure another layer of melody, each minute another swell in forward momentum.
By: ZETH LUNDY  |  July 10, 2012


Fiona Apple | The Idler Wheel is wiser than the Driver of the Screw and Whipping Cords will serve you more than Ropes will ever do

Epic (2012)
Long delays between albums, equally long album titles, uncompromising artistic vision, the is-Joni-Mitchell-is-not-Joni-Mitchell question, and that "Criminal" video.
By: ZETH LUNDY  |  June 19, 2012


David Bowie | The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars [40th Anniversary Edition]

Virgin/EMI (2012)
Bowie's greatest album? Depends on the day. Canonically, however, this is and will always be a BFD: an archetype of alternative commercial rock, the primo platter of the so-called glam era; and arguably the best record ever made about apocalypse, interplanetary lust, singer-songwriter role playing, and rock-and-roll-as-alien-outsider stuff.
By: ZETH LUNDY  |  June 05, 2012


Sun Kil Moon | Among the Leaves

 Caldo Verde (2012)
The first thing you'll notice about Mark Kozelek's fifth LP as Sun Kil Moon are song titles that would give Morrissey a boner.
By: ZETH LUNDY  |  May 22, 2012


The Figgs | The Day Gravity Stopped

Stomper (2012)
These days Mike Gent, Pete Donnelly, and Pete Hayes are involved in enough extracurricular activities (Graham Parker, NRBQ, countless side/session-men gigs) that you could hardly blame them if they closed their two decades-plus Figgs chapter.
By: ZETH LUNDY  |  May 15, 2012


Billy Bragg + Wilco | Mermaid Avenue: The Complete Sessions

Nonesuch (2012)
In 1998, and again in 2000, English singer-songwriter Billy Bragg teamed up with Wilco— not yet on their post-Americana trip — to put unreleased Woody Guthrie lyrics to music.
By: ZETH LUNDY  |  May 01, 2012


Rufus Wainwright | Out Of The Game

Decca (2012)
Out of the Game is being billed as the most "pop" album of Rufus Wainwright's career, which is to say that it dismisses many of his trademark classical and/or stagey affinities.
By: ZETH LUNDY  |  April 24, 2012


The Dandy Warhols | This Machine

The End (2012)
The title of the Dandy Warhols' eighth record may be a Woody Guthrie allusion, but don't fret — the closest the Portland, Oregon, band get to politics here is a cover of Merle Travis's "16 Tons."
By: ZETH LUNDY  |  April 17, 2012


Quakers | Quakers

Stones Throw (2012)
No, this isn't the theological rap supergroup you've been pining for.
By: ZETH LUNDY  |  April 10, 2012


Dr. John | Locked Down

Nonesuch (2012)
The Night Tripper, circa 2012: big fat funky drums, Nuggets-psych organs, ladies in the background going "Yeah-eahh!," woozy/honking brass.
By: ZETH LUNDY  |  April 03, 2012


Johnny Cash | The Soul Of Truth: Bootleg Vol. IV

Columbia/Legacy (2012)
Unlike his pal Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash didn't merely flirt with a gospel phase or release an album or two of spiritually charged music.
By: ZETH LUNDY  |  March 28, 2012
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