June 30, 2006 In the right hands, remixes have tremendous power: Producers can transform mediocrities into masterpieces, and they can recontextualize music outside its original genre. Djinji Brown approaches Kahil El'Zabar's "Running in the Streets" with an appropriately light touch.
June 29, 2006 Hot Chip is clearly made up of geeky music obsessives, each far-reaching in his musical ideas. A quirky, intelligent collection of songs, the band's new album The Warning owes as much to Prince and Aphex Twin as it does to The Beach Boys, New Order and Beck.
June 27, 2006 Grant-Lee Phillips' nineteeneighties would seem to be an odd creative detour — the set finds him covering '80s alt-rock classics by the likes of R.E.M., the Cure and the Pixies — but it's surprising how smoothly its tributes fit into his homespun, heartfelt catalog.
June 27, 2006 The Texas band Dynah draws on influences ranging from Mick Ronson and Johnny Marr to Radiohead. Wake, its sophomore album, represents a potent distillation of those influences — awash in atmospheric soul, with zero filler.
June 26, 2006 On his transfixing debut, Nik Bartsch creates a five-part song cycle that highlights his immaculate piano playing and keen accord with his band Ronin. The Swiss-born pianist and composer calls Ronin's music "Zen-funk," an apt description for the magnetic "Modul 35."
June 26, 2006 Our rock critic reviews Springtime Can Kill You the new CD from singer-songwriter Jolie Holland.
June 23, 2006 Radio 4 returns with an excellent mix of politically charged post-punk dance-rock, inspired by Gang of Four, The Clash and '80s new wave. The group comes by its sound without ripping off its forebears or contemporaries, so the result sounds at once classic and modern.
June 23, 2006 Trumpet player Roy Hargrove has two bands — one a straight-ahead jazz combo, the other a soul-tinged R&B band. Instead of choosing one or the other, he recently decided to release two very different CDs simultaneously.
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June 22, 2006 "Lloyd, I'm Ready To Be Heartbroken," from the Glasgow chamber-pop sextet Camera Obscura's recent album Let's Get Out of This Country, serves as a gloriously bubbly answer to Lloyd Cole's "Are You Ready To Be Heartbroken," one of the all-time great breakup songs.
June 21, 2006 Keane's new Under the Iron Sea opens with a song called "Atlantic," a promising burst that all but announces, "We are now wriggling out of the imposing shadow of Coldplay."
June 20, 2006 The Walkmen's members create an airy, room-filling, guitar-driven racket when needed. But they also craft ballads with loving attention to detail, sprinkling in delicate bells and wintry piano, producing a tone of introspection not often found in the work of their peers.
June 19, 2006 Roy Hargrove delivers an evocative narrative that, without words, conjures the spirit of Donny Hathaway or Stevie Wonder. Because the song doesn't contain any verses, it's easy to imagine its exquisite lyricism as a discreet love letter to jazz itself.
June 16, 2006 If the souls of Sly Stone and Prince were united in the form of a white British singer, his name would probably be Jamie Lidell. Though Lidell is likely to perform his funk jams backed by a laptop, he still has the full-throated, improvisational vocal talent and showmanship of his predecessors.
June 15, 2006 Driven by Doug Martsch's distinctive vocals, sprawling guitar heroics and intricate, catchy songwriting, Built To Spill melds epic jams with oddly jaunty pop-rock melodies in a way that scarcely disappoints. "Liar" sounds liberating and breezy, but still bracingly unpredictable and subtly intense.
June 15, 2006 Capture/Release is the latest album from the British band The Rakes.
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