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Jem | Down to Earth

ATO (2008)
The songs broadcast their emotional content — anxiety, melancholy, resilience — with a straightforwardness you rarely hear outside children’s music.
By: MIKAEL WOOD  |  September 23, 2008


Lindsey Buckingham | Gift of Screws

The great thing about Buckingham is that even his experiments are catchy, and this ensures that Screws doesn’t buckle under the weight of his pop-savant ambition.
By: MIKAEL WOOD  |  September 16, 2008



Motörizer | Steamhammer/SPV
In these unsettling times of geopolitical instability around the globe and economic chaos here at home, it’s nice to know that we can depend on Motörhead.
By: MIKAEL WOOD  |  September 02, 2008



Love on the Inside | Mercury Nashville
Jennifer Nettles and Kristian Bush aren’t afraid to get a little goofy for the sake of a laugh.
By: MIKAEL WOOD  |  August 04, 2008


Mike Gordon

The Green Sparrow | Rounder
Phish phans biding their time for the jam band’s all-but-confirmed reunion should find plenty to occupy themselves with on this second solo album by bassist Mike Gordon.
By: MIKAEL WOOD  |  July 29, 2008


John Mellencamp | Life Death Love and Freedom

Hear Music
The arrangements are sparse compared with those of Mellencamp’s pop hits — many don’t even allow drums — but they’re rich with textural detail.
By: MIKAEL WOOD  |  July 15, 2008


Jenny Scheinman

You might recognize Jenny Scheinman’s name from the liner notes of one of the many high-profile releases on which she’s appeared as a jazz violinist.
By: MIKAEL WOOD  |  May 27, 2008


Carolina Liar

Coming to Terms | Atlantic
Highly recommended to those unafraid of late-period Bon Jovi.
By: MIKAEL WOOD  |  May 20, 2008


Phil Stacey

Lyric Street
No coincidence that Phil Stacey was interesting on Idol only when he sang songs that emphasized his creepiness — “Every Breath You Take,” for instance.
By: MIKAEL WOOD  |  May 06, 2008


Flight of the Concords

Sub Pop
Given my choice of late-night HBO comedy series about foul-mouthed acoustic duos with inflated senses of self-importance, I’ll take Tenacious D over Flight of the Conchords every time.
By: MIKAEL WOOD  |  April 29, 2008


Better than Madonna

Pop stars with product to move
Everybody dug Confessions on a Dance Floor , but I’m one of approximately 12 people who liked American Life , Madonna’s weirdly militant 2003 disc.
By: MIKAEL WOOD  |  January 28, 2010


Tapes N' Tapes

Walk It Off | XL
Last time we heard from this young Minneapolis quartet — and if you spend any time on the Internet, you heard a lot — the story had little to do with music.
By: MIKAEL WOOD  |  April 15, 2008


Tristan Prettyman

Hello | Virgin
This sophomore set by San Diego–based Tristan Prettyman doesn’t warrant its statement-making title.
By: MIKAEL WOOD  |  April 02, 2008


Solo shot

Gary Louris leaves the Jayhawks behind
Gary Louris had no grand designs for the beginning of his solo career.
By: MIKAEL WOOD  |  March 25, 2008



Dive Deep | Ultra
He’s Morcheeba’s best bet for avoiding a trip to snoozytown.
By: MIKAEL WOOD  |  March 25, 2008


Xiu Xiu

Women as Lovers | Kill Rock Stars
Jamie Stewart has been releasing recordings at such a steady clip since 2002 that you might expect him to have run out of new ways to provoke discomfort.
By: MIKAEL WOOD  |  March 18, 2008


Be Your Own Pet

Get Awkward | Ecstatic Peace/Universal
Blonde-bombshell frontwoman Jemina Pearl and her mates haven’t exactly reached maturity.
By: MIKAEL WOOD  |  March 12, 2008



Autumn Fallin' | Blue Note
“Where’s my morning coffee?”, Jaymay wonders in “Sea Green, See Blue,” a cut from the New York–based singer-songwriter’s major-label debut.
By: MIKAEL WOOD  |  March 04, 2008


Allison Moorer

Mockingbird | New Line
Working with producer Buddy Miller, Moorer takes an approach opposite to Lynne’s on the stripped-down Lovin’ , giving each track its own distinct personality.
By: MIKAEL WOOD  |  February 26, 2008


O, Canada!

Cowboy Junkies, k.d. lang, and Kathleen Edwards are not hockey pucks
You’d be forgiven for assuming that nothing’s been going on in Canada for the last few years beyond the interconnected shenanigans of that country’s indie-rock elite.
By: MIKAEL WOOD  |  February 19, 2008


Bell X1

Flock | Yep Roc
Remember when Snow Patrol were huge in the UK but only a college-radio curio here?
By: MIKAEL WOOD  |  February 20, 2008

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