One of the year's most anticipated releases, Grizzly Bear's Veckatimest, witnesses a relatively young band take to the studio with a veteran-like attitude. The feverish pitch of anticipation from bloggers and faithful fans alike is answered in an album that is meticulous in its production and lavish in its overall sound.
Abnormally Attracted To Sin, the tenth studio album from Tori Amos is a sprawling, ambitious effort plentiful in its results. The seventeen song collection is clearly a creative outpouring that is seemingly unrestrained by any theme or narrative.
There's that cliché about putting the "bounce back in your step. Well, after recruiting the Austin-based rock band Relentless7 to join forces, Ben Harper not only put the "bounce back in his step," but he refueled with a group of musicians that take his highly emotional songs to an explosive level.
With thirty-three studio albums now to his credit, Bob Dylan continues to offer songs with the richness and depth to which we've all been accustomed. His latest album, Together Through Life is a 10 song collection, a majority of which were co-written with Robert Hunter and self-produced by Dylan, under his alter-ego Jack Frost.
With her timeless voice, Melody Gardot offers an enchanting collection of jazzy originals with the release of her new album My One And Only Thrill. The Philadelphia native flourishes both as a singer and songwriter, upholding an assuredness that matches the elegance for which the album aspires.
Peter Bjorn & John whistled their way into our ears just a couple years ago with their unavoidable single "Young Folks." And while their album Writer's Block was actually the trio's third album, all the symptoms of the dreaded "one-hit wonder" were beginning to loom. Well, fast forward to the present, and the release of Living Thing which sets out to prove that Peter Bjorn & John do in fact have a few more infectious offerings for us.
On their sixth studio album, Gomez offers fans a more experimental, less pop-infused effort. A New Tide feels somewhat like a return to form. The five members once again took the unique method of writing separately and exchanging portions of songs electronically. And despite the physical distance apart, the results are cohesive.
If you've ever traveled to or spent an extended period of time in the Catskill Mountains, the sound and demeanor of The Felice Brothers comes as no surprise. On their second release for Team Love Records, the earthy Americana band of brothers and longtime friends aim to reflect the America that they know, and do so with tales of trains, baseball and even chickens.
Removed from the pressures or constraints that may come with being signed to a major label, the Indigo Girls have seemingly returned to form on their independent release Poseidon And The Bitter Bug. The double-disc effort actually spotlights the duo in both a full band setting as well as an intimate, acoustic arrangement performing essentially the same set of songs.
It's easy to be captivated by Middle Cyclone, the new album from Neko Case. Those enchanting vocals have returned, striking a familiar balance between her alt-country tendencies and indie-pop sensibilities. And while Case's viability as a solo artist skyrocketed after the release of Fox Confessor Brings The Flood, it's fair to say that on Middle Cyclone the spotlight shines just as bright.