The American Primitive-style guitarist wrote My Garden State while caring for his mother in New Jersey. A bittersweet record, it reminds us that our roots are stronger than we remember — and that wherever you end up, it's about the home you make.
Playful, soft, sunnily melancholy and springlike, Zooey Deschanel's songs with M. Ward once again subsist on the strength of their own agreeability. Timelessness has long been key to the duo's charm, and indeed, Volume 3 seems to be floating through AM speakers at all times.
The soundtrack to The Great Gatsby, Baz Luhrmann's latest high-end refurbishing of a lived-in classic, doesn't try to re-imagine Jazz Age tunes in a modern context. Instead, it attempts to transplant the sensibility of the 1920s to the hip-hop era, with genre-busting collaborations overseen by Jay-Z.
On his second album, the perfectionist and multi-instrumentalist applies a beachy sparkle to 37 minutes of fresh, fun rock 'n' roll. The result feels like the work of a young artist who's both newly grown-up and still growing.
The inventive, politically inclined Venezuelan group has done well in establishing itself — not as a rock band, not as an alternative band, not as a punk band, but as a band that does whatever it pleases.
On an album of impeccably chosen covers, the Dixie Chicks singer shows how her fearlessness blends with compassion and stunning vocal chops. This is singing as a way of uncovering the truth, as difficult as it might be to bear.
Nearly half a century into its history, the great Brazilian band returns with a lovely new album. These are the weirdos who've survived every Latin American apocalypse, and their new album shows it,oscillating perfectly between melancholy and crazed stoicism.
The composer's second album accompanies an animated work: the tale of a future metropolis where professional aims and neighborhood loyalty square off. It looks like both early-20th-century New York and a bordering-on-dystopian future. Perfect for a ultramodern big band like this one.
Monomania has a dirtier, wirier, less fussed-over feel than the band has cultivated in recent years. The band's fifth album captures Bradford Cox's gift for self-laceration and unpredictability, but it moves in a less studio-bound direction, closer to the raw and unhinged spirit of his live shows.