Five New Albums Worth Your Dime

by mattdentler
February 10, 2010 9:45 AM
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1. Efterklang, Magic Chairs
(An exciting and enticing new offering from this somewhat obscure Danish rock band. There's a mood and a style similar to folks like Grizzly Bear, but it's more choral and symphonic in structure. Terrific, and one of the best new albums of the year so far.)

2. Eels, End Times
(More folk-melancholy from Mark Everett, who is as reliable a singer/songwriter as Bill Callahan or Will Oldham. His 1990s brush with the Top 40 may have forever skewed audiophiles away from the Eels, but albums like this one prove they are an act you shouldn't dismiss.)

3. Massive Attack, Heligoland
(The first proper new LP in almost a decade from these trip-hop pioneers is not as powerful as previous work, but it's also heads and shoulders above the usual downbeat stuff their descendents pass around. Intoxicating in flashes, and sufficiently melodic, helped with heaps of staggering guest performances.)

4. Pantha du Prince, Black Noise
(A dark and moody German DJ... or at least the music is dark and moody. You know the drill: sparse blips with some thumping beats, and almost no vocals. Squarepusher meets The Orb. There's an authorship, though, that makes it interesting. And, one splendid guest vocal spot by Noah Lennox, aka Panda Bear.)

5. Hot Chip, One Life Stand
(Dance music for people who don't like dancing, these Brits cool down for a relaxed set. Nevertheless, they throw in all kinds of 2010 accessories - autotune, most of all - and manage to keep it lovely and geeky.)

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