Iron & Wine, “Our Endless Numbered Days (Deluxe Edition)”

“Our Endless Numbered Days” houses many of the most elegant, striking songs of Sam Beam’s career.

Karen O & Danger Mouse, “Lux Prima”

Despite its flawless production, “Lux Prima” is a noticeably restrained affair, considering what a feral creature Karen O has always been.

Weezer, “Weezer (Black Album)”

Try as he might to sound brash and nonchalant, Rivers Cuomo still comes across like the goofball nerd that he is.

Curtis Mayfield, “Keep On Keeping On: Curtis Mayfield Studio Albums 1970-1974”

Attempts to unpack the legacy of one of Chicago’s favorite sons could veer into a novel-length investigation—but an overview of what made him an essential voice is on Technicolor display here.

Sir Babygirl, “Crush on Me”

Debut album “Crush on Me” explores maturity, queer identity, and how it all relates to the frosted pink, hardcore world we live in.

Czarface x Ghostface Killah, “Czarface Meets Ghostface”

A twelve-track saga loaded with menacing beats and ’90-style boom-bap flows.

The Lemonheads, “Varshons 2”

Dando has a keen ear and an encyclopedic knowledge of recorded music, and the selection of songs here spans decades and genres.

Xiu Xiu, “Girl with Basket of Fruit”

The level of pandemonium and desperation here makes for deeply unsettling but fascinatingly involved listening.

Bob Mould, “Sunshine Rock”

“Sunshine Rock” is bedazzled with literal bells and whistles, including an eighteen-piece string section to lend Mould’s muscular rock a sense of transcendence.

Girlpool, “What Chaos Is Imaginary”

While Girlpool’s last album was sugary indie pop-punk, their new one paints in broader strokes.

Beirut, “Gallipoli”

Armed with his Farfisa, his torrid voice, and his Technicolor arrangements, Condon has made his most adult listening effort to date.

Jessica Pratt, “Quiet Signs”

Pratt’s melodies hold nary a wasted chord or unwanted phrase.

Backstreet Boys, “DNA”

Rightly intuiting that they’d only embarrass themselves by carrying the “boy band” ethos into middle age, they long ago shifted into pure adult contemporary.

DAWN, “new breed”

Despite its imperfections, the album is enjoyable when odes to funk music liven up its heavy pop sound.

The Dandy Warhols, “Why You So Crazy?”

Though it’s by no means a masterpiece, “Why You So Crazy?” proves that boring is something The Dandy Warhols will never, ever be.

Eerie Wanda, “Pet Town”

Much of the album sounds like echoes in an empty room, with percussion provided by hand claps and a drum machine.

Better Oblivion Community Center, “Better Oblivion Community Center”

“Better Oblivion Community Center” is a folk rock album that proves Conor Oberst and Phoebe Bridgers to be perfect singing companions.

Buzzcocks, “Another Music in a Different Kitchen” / “Love Bites”  [reissues]

Buzzcocks’ first two records with Pete Shelley proved that the band could—and did—maintain dramatic and thematic tension through entire song cycles.

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