Ultraísta - Ultraísta
Producer Nigel Godrich (often referred to as "the sixth member of Radiohead," which is more or less equivalent to godliness) teams up with longtime collaborator Joey Waronker and vocalist Laura Bettinson for a series of percussive and synth-drenched pop tunes. Nothing particularly groundbreaking here, but the production is wondrous and Bettinson's hooks are some of thecatchiest I've heard all year. -ZN
Recommended Tracks: "Smalltalk", "Gold Dayzz", "Bad Insect"
Godspeed You! Black Emperor - 'Allelujah! Don't Bend! Ascend!
Don't blame the promo companies for this oversight; this album was quietly made available for purchase at the band's merch table during their current tour. The brooding and deathly serious Canadian post-rockers deliver another fascinating document that marries two extensive suites of music with two drone passages. -ZN
Recommended Tracks: "Mladaic", "We Drift Like Worried Fire", "Their Helicopters Sing"
Miguel - Kaleidoscope Dream
On Kaleidoscope Dream, Miguel Pimentel tours the musical spectrum: twisting and turning the funks, pops and rocks through his own cylindrical R&B core as a gorgeous new creation forms on the other end (yup, like an actual kaleidoscope). Not only musically daring but emotionally powerful, Miguel sheds a truthful, contemporary light on the art of seduction. Sure, with lines like "how many drinks would it take you to leave with me", it's almost comically forward. Miguel, however, refrains from being crass- a line so many of his sexed-up predecessors have either straddled or crossed. You see, he isn't about to pull some questionable stunt on you and then lock himself in a closet… nah, Miguel's gonna treat you right. -JLF
Jonny Greenwood - The Master Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
One of the finest musicians in the world delivers a score that is alternately stomach-turning and tender. Plenty of dissonance and drone interspersed with appropriate tunes from the post-WWII era, such as Ella Fitzgerald's rendition of "Get Thee Behind Me Satan". -ZN