Italian film music and spaghetti westerns were the influences behind this collaboration between Brian Burton (Danger Mouse) and Italian talent Luppi. Actually recorded in Rome (on top of the other inspirations), the pair worked with an eye toward copying the recording practices of the late 60s, recording live to tape and using mostly vintage gear. Another component of the album were the vocals, contributed by Jack White (Two Against One, The World) and Norah Jones (Seasons Trees, Problem Queen), as well as soprano Edda DellOrso, making for a pop (yes, pop!) record full of depth and complexity.
Death Cab for Cutie - Codes and Keys - Atlantic
Both more spry and more synth-y than previous efforts, Death Cabs latest - their seventh studio set - focuses far less on guitars and far more on optimism. Ben Gibbards distinctive vocals and the front-and-center songwriting of Chris Walla team up to solid effect here, on such songs as the deft balladry of the title track, the observational, pitiful shake of the head at Some Boys, the rolling synth lines of Monday Morning, the melancholy Unobstructed Views, and Gibbards ode to new wife Zooey Deschanel on Stay Young, Go Dancing. Its a different DC album, but in this case, different works quite well.
David Guetta - One More Love - 101
Not sure how long Guetta can keep recycling the same album as a new version, since this is essentially his One Love album - again (its been the subject already of several special editions and re-releases). But, hey, if the fans will buy it, then the fans will buy it. Collaborating as usual with long-time vocalist pal Chris Willis, guests contributors here also include the likes of will.i.am (Black Eyed Peas), Kid Cudi, Estelle, former Destinys Child vocalist Kelly Rowland, and Akon, among others; this particular edition of the revamped One Love album also includes a Guetta remix of the Peas track I Gotta Feeling.
Deadmau5 - 4x4=12 - Ultra Records
Toronto musical performer Joel Zimmerman, aka Deadmau5, is well known for tossing together tracks as if they were so many bowls of salad ingredients, mixing and matching primarily his own works into unique, danceable electronica sculptures that are both catchy and innovative for the genre. The album opens with Some Chords, which is reminiscent of Deadmau5s previous work, and shifts quickly from there to the choppy Bad Selection, the tougher One Trick Pony, and the more pensive (well, as pensive as you can be within the framework of a disco beat) Raise Your Weapon and Everything Before.