Continuation -- Alex Cline (Cryptogramophone)
Percussionist and composer Alex Cline, guitarist Nels' twin brother, performs with a dynamic quintet including pianist Myra Melford, to execute a challenging and dazzling sum, often unpredictable and wonderfully surprising.
The Sun Came Out -- 7 Worlds Collide (Sony)
This collaborative effort led by singer/songwriter Neil Finn includes members of Wilco and Radiohead, Johnny Marr and Lisa Germano delivering a cohesive string of impressive pop performances.
Imidiwan: Companions -- Tinariwen (Independiente)
This nomadic Touareg group from Mali again delivers a unique blend of Saharan blues, poetry and traditional folk. Imidiwan is perhaps their strongest release yet, choosing to create a contemporary field recording, incorporating the organic sounds of the Northern African landscape into the songs.
Délivrance -- A Hawk and a Hacksaw (Leaf)
Percussionist/accordionist Jeremy Barnes and violinist Heather Trost continue their exploration of Balkan-influenced songs, flavored with a U.S. Southwestern musical seasoning. Here, the duo's identity becomes more solidified with the confident playing of Trost leading the way.
Sometimes I Wish We Were An Eagle -- Bill Callahan (Drag City)
Callahan worked with Austin producer John Congleton to produce a perfect soundscape, emotionally countering the singer's deadpan delivery to capture a mournful tone on this dark and beautiful record.
Keep an Eye on the Sky -- Big Star retrospective box set (Ardent/Rhino)
All of My Friends Are Funeral Singers -- Califone (Dead Oceans)
Prince of Truth -- Evangelista (Constellation Records)
Guilty Office -- The Bats (Hidden Agenda)
Enter the 37th Chamber -- El Michels Affair (Truth & Soul)