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Priestess | Prior To The Fire

Tee Pee (2009)
Now Priestess are back in Indieland, rubbing denim-clad elbows with the likes of Nebula and Black Math Horseman.
By: MIKAEL WOOD  |  January 27, 2010


Laura Veirs | July Flame

Raven Marching Band (2010)
Thanks to the string of albums she's released over the past decade or so, this Portland-based folkie has cultivated a reputation as a gifted chronicler of the outdoor experience.
By: MIKAEL WOOD  |  January 19, 2010


Animal Collective | Fall Be Kind

Domino (2009)
This nifty little five-track postscript to January's celebrated Merriweather Post Pavilion demonstrates further how adept the members of Animal Collective have become at deploying their bottomless bag of electro-psych tricks in the service of songs.
By: MIKAEL WOOD  |  December 16, 2009


Big Star | Keep an Eye on the Sky

Rhino (2009)
Like most Big Star fans, author Robert Gordon overheats a little in the biographical essay that accompanies this handsome four-disc box set.
By: MIKAEL WOOD  |  December 09, 2009


Rihanna | Rated R

Def Jam (2009)
Look, it’s not as if there were a song where she says, “Chris Brown, you chicken-shit motherfucker, your ass is gonna pay.”
By: MIKAEL WOOD  |  December 02, 2009


Annie | Don't Stop

Smalltown Supersound (2009)
Things have gotten pretty crowded in the electro-pop demi-monde since Annie released her indie-hit debut, Anniemal , back in 2004.
By: MIKAEL WOOD  |  November 17, 2009


Jackson 5 | I Want You Back! Unreleased Masters

Motown/Universal (2009)
If you’ve ever wondered how great it might be to hear a slowed-down version of “ABC” that lacks all the youthful charm of the original, this set of previously unreleased Jackson 5 recordings is for you.
By: MIKAEL WOOD  |  November 10, 2009


Nirvana | Live at Reading and Bleach

DGC/Sub Pop (2009)
Here in the Internet Age, we tend to think that we made possible the overnight transformation from blog-buzz baby to arena-rock idol.
By: MIKAEL WOOD  |  January 13, 2010


Pink Martini | Splendor in the Grass

Heinz (2009)
The members of Portland’s Pink Martini have covered plenty of well-known songs in their decade and a half together, like “Que Sera, Sera” on their 1997 debut, and the theme from I Dream of Jeannie in their early live shows.
By: MIKAEL WOOD  |  October 30, 2009


Erin McKeown | Hundreds of Lions

Righteous Babe (2009)
This local folkie has spent the past few years sifting through the ample riches of the Great American Songbook, first on 2006’s excellent Sing You Sinners , then on Lafayette , a spirited follow-up taped live at Joe’s Pub in New York.
By: MIKAEL WOOD  |  October 21, 2009


Baroness | Blue Record

Relapse (2009)
For a band of ultra-prosaic album titlers, Baroness are big thinkers when it comes to their music.
By: MIKAEL WOOD  |  October 14, 2009

Review: Whitney Houston | I Look to You

Arista (2009)
It's tempting to wonder whether super-producer Clive Davis, in another of his music-biz machinations, arranged for Whitney Houston to whiff last week on Good Morning America , which is reported to have altered Houston's vocals for broadcast after she sounded hoarse during her Central Park mini-concert.
By: MIKAEL WOOD  |  September 09, 2009


Jay Reatard | Watch Me Fall

Matador (2009)
Jay Reatard is the Lil Wayne of the Memphis garage-rock scene.
By: MIKAEL WOOD  |  August 25, 2009


Jack Peñate | Everything Is New

XL (2009)
Not everything is new on Everything Is New , this young London singer's sophomore set, but enough is to make you wonder what on earth persuaded Jack Peñate to ditch the ample charms of his terrific debut.
By: MIKAEL WOOD  |  August 19, 2009


Review: Amanda Blank | I Love You

Downtown (2009)
Like many a party person before her, Philly-based electro-rap filly Amanda Blank wants you to know that she has a sensitive side.
By: MIKAEL WOOD  |  August 11, 2009


Review: Howling Bells | Radio Wars

Independiente/Nettwerk (2009)
Australian dream-rock dudes (and dudette) toured North America earlier this year with Coldplay — and like Chris Martin's not-so-merry men, Howling Bells on their sophomore album attempt to dress up what might otherwise be a clutch of dour, namby-pamby white-person ditties with all manner of spicy studio-side textures.
By: MIKAEL WOOD  |  August 03, 2009


The Dead Weather | Horehound

Third Man (2009)
It's no coincidence that four of the 11 songs on the Dead Weather's debut — "I Cut like a Buffalo," "3 Birds," "Rocking Horse," and a cover of Bob Dylan's "New Pony" — make reference to the animal kingdom.
By: MIKAEL WOOD  |  July 22, 2009


Björk | Voltaic

Nonesuch (2009)
As befits an artist who doesn't do much in the conventional manner, Voltaic is a live album unlike many you've heard before.
By: MIKAEL WOOD  |  July 07, 2009


The Jonas Brothers | Lines, Vines and Trying Times

Hollywood (2009)
For a group of guys who made their name as the boy band of whom no mom could disapprove, the Jonas Brothers have developed some pretty repellent ideas about the fairer sex. In what seems like every other song here, they whine about how crazy and needy and bitchy young women can be.
By: MIKAEL WOOD  |  June 23, 2009


Tiga | Ciao!

Last Gang (2009)
This Montreal-based electro-house dude made his name with slyly straight-faced covers of Nelly's "Hot in Herre" and Corey Hart's "Sunglasses at Night," and on his second studio disc, he doesn't appear hugely concerned that his original material should sound all that original.
By: MIKAEL WOOD  |  June 15, 2009


Busta Rhymes | Back on My B.S.

Universal Motown (2009)
Increasingly surrounded by Soulja Boys and Lil Waynes, Busta Rhymes has of late taken on the look of hip-hop's Father Time.
By: MIKAEL WOOD  |  June 02, 2009

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