Here's the rest of this week's highlights:
Album: Our Fertile Forever
Quick Description: Hooky punkish stuff that is rougher around the edges than this cover would indicate.
Why You Should Listen: It's got a good punky vibe to it.
Overall Thoughts: I didn't love this as a whole, but it has some great moments like the opening track and "Ritalin," but this is one of those albums that I feel has some limited appeal. If you like dirty, old-school punk, there's definitely stuff here you'll enjoy. Really just not my genre.
Recommendation: Far from mandatory, but will have some appeal.
Artist: Peter Bjorn and John
Album: Breakin' Point
Quick Description: First album in five years for the "Young Folks" indie darlings.
Why You Should Listen: The trio knows how to craft a good indie pop song, for sure.
Overall Thoughts: PB&J are going to forever be defined by "Young Folks," which isn't a bad thing, but it does mean that we'll constantly be comparing their output to that song. So is there a "Young Folks" here? No, but there is a solid album that I feel is some of their better work. The band has become solidly consistent and this album continues that trajectory.
Recommendation: Definitely worth a listen.
Artist: Gemma Ray
Album: The Exodus Suite
Quick Description: New album from the songstress.
Why You Should Listen: Gemma Ray is always excellent at what she does, this is not an exception.
Overall Thoughts: I felt Milk for Your Motors was a highlight of its release week, and The Exodus Suite continues down that deliberately-paced path with some gorgeous songs from start to finish. The opening song, "Come Caldera," really sets the tone, and it's just a solid listen throughout. Maybe a little too long, but that's more nitpicky than anything else.
Recommendation: A highlight of the week.
Artist: Amy Klein
Quick Description: Titus Andronicus member goes solo.
Why You Should Listen: It has the Titus urgency with a singer-songwriter feel.
Overall Thoughts: I'm not a huge Titus Andronicus guy, but this is an album that really grabs you by the shirt and makes you listen. "Fire" ramps up quickly, while songs like "Yes Men" come forward almost immediately. The sound is similar to her Don Giovanni labelmates in some regards, so there is a feel to this that will be familiar and, ultimately, worth your time.
Recommendation: Give this one a spin.
Artist: The Temper Trap
Album: Thick as Thieves
Quick Description: Third album from the Australian alt-rockers.
Why You Should Listen: "Sweet Disposition" was so good when it came out that this is at least worth some time based on that.
Overall Thoughts: Yes, Conditions was two albums and six years ago, but The Temper Trap is still doing something a little different in the mainstream alt-rock department. This album has its moments for sure, and if you're looking for that sort of sound, there hasn't been anything much like it highlighted lately.
Recommendation: Not for everyone, but worth a listen.
Artist: Band of Horses
Album: Why Are You OK?
Quick Description: Latest from the indie rockers.
Why You Should Listen: You still love "The Funeral."
Overall Thoughts: I'll say this much - for a band as buzzed-about as Band of Horses, and with a legitimate modern classic in "The Funeral" under their belt, I did not expect to hear an album that was this forgettable. I don't recall a thing from it, nor do I feel a need to come back to it. And, frankly, this might have been the case for a while for them. I don't know if I just don't get this band or if it's something else, but, in a week with a lot of interesting releases, this falls short.
Recommendation: Only if you're a fan.
Also out this week:
* Weird Dreams - Luxury Alone (Dreamy, retro pop rock).