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Rockwell

Anni Rossi
4AD

One of my first assignments was to review rapper Khia’s second album, Gangstress.

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Middle Cyclone

Neko Case
Anti

Case’s last album exemplified a singer/songwriter pushing her band forward in multiple directions. Now come 14 songs that often feel closer in, but with brave experiments.

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Years of Refusal

Morrissey
Lost Highway

“You’re making a fool of yourself, so get off the stage,” Morrissey sang in 1989, calling out aging rockers on their complacency and irrelevance.

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U2 turned to old cohorts Eno and Lanois and practically made ’em auxiliary members.

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Jason Isbell and The 400 Unit

Jason Isbell and The 400 Unit
New West

The eponymous follow-up to Isbell’s brilliant Sirens of the Ditch is probably not what most people expected.

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Future Stars and Small Wonders

Bizzart
Joyful Noise

Bizzart’s fourth is his first with producer Innaspace, and I’m not quite sure whom to give more credit.

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Dark Was The Night

Various Artists
4AD

What would happen if you faced down an army of A-listers all mugging with the same game face?

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Hunter Moon

Spirits of the Red City
Self-released

In a dream-memory, in the surgery tent after Perryville, I take a long, bitter pull from the surgeon’s bottle and am given my belt as a champing bit.

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NGH WHT (The Dead Emcee Scrolls)

Saul Williams
saulwilliams.com

Saul Williams’s 2006 book has now been set to music by composer Thomas Kessler and performed by the Arditti String Quartet, with vocals, of course, handled by the author.

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Dear John

Loney Dear
Polyvinyl

Emil Svanagen performs your standard-issue indie pop. There’s something about Scandinavian musicians in general and Swedes in particular that makes them veritable geysers of this stuff.