Serving as a mini follow-up to Keanes 2008 set, Perfect Symmetry, this EP shows off both whats best about the band as well as their ability to infuse new elements into their distinctive sound. Recorded on the fly during the bands last tour, the new songs echo many of the places they traveled, from the South American horns of Looking Back to the appearance of Canadian/Somali rapper KNaan (Stop for a Minute.) Songwriter extraordinaire Tim Rice-Oxley even throws in some solid vocals next to Tom Chaplins own impressive ones.
Doves - The Best Of - Astralwerks
The Best Of marks ten years of music by the influential Brit pop-rock band Doves, in a worthy retrospective that includes everything from The Man Who Told Everything and Snowden to more recent hits as Jetstream and Kingdom of Rust. A special edition of the set will also include a DVD and a 16-page booklet with special artwork and pics; both versions of the collection will include three new Doves songs (including Andalucia) as produced by the band themselves; hopefully their next ten years will be just as good as this.
OK Go - Of the Blue Colour of the Sky - Capitol
Helmed by Mercury Rev/Phantom Planet cohort Dave Fridmann, OK Gos skills for witty art-rock and quirky, danceable compositions are faultlessly showcased on their latest effort, which is both conceptual (via a wellness book by General AJ Pleasonton) and perfectly pop. First single This Too Shall Pass melds tubas and military drumbeats with an eminently singalongable refrain, while cell phones lights surely take to the air on All is Not Lost, and more experimental elements surface on Back from Kathmandu and In the Glass.
Gorillaz - Plastic Beach -
Take that, those of you who thought that Blur frontman Damon Albarns virtual cartoon band project was nothing more than a passing fad. Over ten years later, Gorillaz are still going strong, and have garnered critical acclaim for their clever electro-hip-hop-rock tracks. The bands latest effort focuses on an environmental theme through songs like Stylo (featuring Mos Def) and Some Kind of Nature, on which guest Lou Reed waxes kinda-poetic on foil and plastics. You wont recycle this disc, though; youll want to listen again and again.