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Book of Leaves

Rachel Grimes
KARATE BODY

Just as Book of Leaves, the new solo piano album from Rachel’s pianist Rachel Grimes, contains no lyrics, it would seem fitting to review the album without words; perhaps replaci

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Japanese Heavy Rock Hits

Boris
SOUTHERN LORD

This constantly experimenting Japanese heavy rock outfit has logged more than 20 releases since 1996, gaining attention after 2001 with a series of reissues by Southern Lord.

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The Blouprint

JaLin Roze
FEEL FREE

In contemporary hip-hop, one has to ask oneself: Which is more important, the emcee or the beat? What defines “good” in 2009?

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3

Susanna and the Magical Orchestra
RUNE GRAMMAFON

The tone of 3 is consistent to a fault, defined by its distinct lack of presence — melodies so abstruse they seem to disappear completely; backing tracks so muted and inscrutable

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Notorious Movie Soundtrack

Various Artists
Bad Boy

I have mixed feelings on watching the biopic of the late Notorious B.I.G., which I will not go into here.

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Carbonistas

The Metroschifter
Noise Pollution

Metroschifter are at their best when they speak with their instruments, not their mouths.

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Treeg Salaam

Group Doueh
SUBLIME FREQUENCIES

Released in conjunction with their first-ever European tour this past June (the first time audiences outside of Western Sahara saw them perform), Group Doueh’s second album, Treeg Sa

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Family

Le Loup
HARDLY ART

Family is a mess in every sense of the term — sometimes endearing, often directionless, the band’s reach almost always exceeds their grasp.

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Unmap

Volcano Choir
JAGJAGUWAR

One sure sign that the CD era is waning: the resurgence of 40-minute, nine-song indie LPs, a throwback to vinyl-era album sequencing. One sure sign that celebrating may be premature: the

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The Broad Street Bully

Beanie Sigel
SICCNESS

This is not a proper album but not quite a mixtape.