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RYAN REED

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Cat Power | Sun

Matador (2012)
Mental illness, bankruptcy, heartbreak, sonic impotence: Chan Marshall has suffered through her share of crises since her last album of original material, 2006's highly praised The Greatest .
By: RYAN REED  |  September 12, 2012

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The xx | Coexist

Young Turks (2012)
The xx's sleeper electro-soul debut was defined by its silences as much as its sounds: by the pauses between dusty, cymbal-less beats, stoned basslines, and echoing guitar pings, and by the pregnant tension between the voices (the unison NyQuil croons of Romy Madley Croft and Oliver Sim).
By: RYAN REED  |  September 04, 2012

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Lynyrd Skynyrd | Last of a Dyin' Breed

Roadrunner Records
The eponymous track of Lynyrd Skynyrd's 13th studio album opens with a tease of gritty gusto — a skank-nasty slide riff a few ghostly notes short of Led Zep's "In My Time of Dying."
By: RYAN REED  |  August 28, 2012

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Nathan Fake | Steam Days

Border Community (2012)
Even though it's difficult to feel a human pulse on his third studio album, Steam Days, Nathan Fake's brand of laptop-tronica remains uniquely organic.
By: RYAN REED  |  August 21, 2012

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Yeasayer | Fragrant World

Secretly Canadian (2012)
To promote their excellent third album, Fragrant World, Brooklyn's resident art-pop weirdos sent their fans on a psychedelic audio-visual Internet scavenger hunt.
By: RYAN REED  |  August 15, 2012

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Niki & the Dove | Instinct

Sub Pop (2012)
On their debut full-length Instinct, these electro-pop Swedes strike a delicate balance between trance-y hooks and artful, world music weirdness — and the results typically sound like Cyndi Lauper covering Fleetwood Mac, as produced by Kate Bush.
By: RYAN REED  |  August 07, 2012



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In This Moment | Blood

Century Media (2012)
After In This Moment's 2007 debut, the Los Angeles quintet took part in something called the "Hot Chicks of Metal Tour."
By: RYAN REED  |  July 31, 2012

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Icky Blossoms | Icky Blossoms

Saddle Creek (2012)
Icky Blossoms prefer their retro-styled dance music deep-fried and nasty.
By: RYAN REED  |  July 24, 2012

Album:The Very Best - MTMTMK

The Very Best | MTMTMK

Moshi Moshi/Cooperative Music (2012)
"World music" is an archaic label, but there's no better way to describe the Very Best's MTMTMK .
By: RYAN REED  |  July 17, 2012

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The emotional electronics of Hot Chip

Head music
"You don't always just feel one thing at one time," says Alexis Taylor, Hot Chip's nerd-genius frontman, referencing the grand ambiguity of pop music.
By: RYAN REED  |  July 10, 2012

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Twin Shadow | Confess

4AD (2012)
4AD Ever since his 2010 synth-pop sleeper debut Forget blew up like a critical landmine, Twin Shadow mastermind and former Bostonian George Lewis Jr. has been pigeonholed as an '80s-pop revivalist, mostly to his own annoyance.
By: RYAN REED  |  July 10, 2012



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Dirty Projectors | Swing Lo Magellan

Domino (2012)
In the indie-rock academy of musical tomfoolery, Dave Longstreth has always earned excellent marks.
By: RYAN REED  |  July 03, 2012

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The Smashing Pumpkins | Oceania

Martha's Music (2012)
Billy Corgan's ego alone has probably gone triple-platinum, and he's never been afraid of calling himself a genius (even while promoting skanky, mediocre albums like Machina and Zeitgeist).
By: RYAN REED  |  June 19, 2012

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Fawn | Coastlines

Quite Scientific Records (2012)
Jaded girl-boy harmonies, gleeful three-chord riffs, healthy doses of punkish noise and emo melody: Coastlines , the debut LP from Detroit indie-pop quartet Fawn, feels like a charming souvenir from a musical era two decades in the rear-view.
By: RYAN REED  |  June 05, 2012

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Lemonade | Diver

True Panther Sounds (2012)
Halfway through "Infinite Style," the glossy electro-pop opener from Lemonade's sophomore LP, you'll hear the faint sound of a rhythmic exhale — or possibly two sticks rubbing together.
By: RYAN REED  |  May 29, 2012

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Scissor Sisters | Magic Hour

Casablanca (2012)
"Twist and shout/Boobies hangin' all out," sings Scissor Sister Ana Matronic on the futuristic sci-fi funk of "Keep Your Shoes On," her robo-tastic chirp swallowed in a maze of mind-numbing video-game synth runs and digital blips.
By: RYAN REED  |  May 22, 2012



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Here We Go Magic | A Different Ship

Secretly Canadian
On paper, at least, it's a match made in psychedelic alt-rock heaven.
By: RYAN REED  |  May 08, 2012

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Beach House | Bloom

Sub Pop (2012)
For most bands, being labeled "formulaic" is an insult.
By: RYAN REED  |  May 01, 2012

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Brendan Benson | What Kind Of World

Readymade (2012)
"Crank it up for me," mutters pop-rawk craftsman Brendan Benson on the intro to "Here in the Deadlights."
By: RYAN REED  |  April 24, 2012

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Jack White | Blunderbuss

Third Man/Columbia (2012)
The White Stripes — the candy-coated, Delta blues-worshipping duo responsible for some of the 2000s' greatest rock albums — recently broke up.
By: RYAN REED  |  April 23, 2012

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Alabama Shakes | Boys & Girls

ATO (2012)
In 2012, every other mainstream female pop singer is trying her hand at honest-to-God soul, shooting stylistically for Aretha Franklin (by way of Adele's 21) but usually winding up closer to early-Nelly Furtado.
By: RYAN REED  |  April 10, 2012


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