Feb 09, 2010 Music Issue #29 - Year End 2009 - Best of the Decade

How quickly they grow up. On their sophomore full-length, Fullerton, CA band Cold War Kids embraced their dance-rock side, shrieking for all who would hear, "something is not right with me." Now, two years later, the wrongs have been righted and the "kids" are busy making their bid for VH1 immortality. More

Feb 01, 2010 Music Issue #29 - Year End 2009 - Best of the Decade

A timeless pop song never goes out of fashion. From The Beatles, to R.E.M., to The Shins, a simple three-chord track that raises goose bumps is perhaps the most alchemical device in music. Florida's Surfer Blood are acutely aware of these possibilities, and on their debut Astro Coast, they shimmy and sway through 10 tracks copiously laden with chill-inducing hooks. More

Los Campesinos!

Romance is Boring

Wichita/Arts & Crafts

Jan 28, 2010 Music Issue #29 - Year End 2009 - Best of the Decade

If Los Campesinos!' first album, Hold on Now, Youngster, was the sound of worked-up adolescents pining for easy sex, and its rush-released follow up, We Are Beautiful, We Are Doomed, the sound of crushed young adults learning there's no such thing, the group's latest, Romance is Boring, is the inevitable realization that even stable relationships don't make sex any less elusive. More

Charlotte Gainsbourg

IRM

Elektra/Because

Jan 27, 2010 Music Issue #29 - Year End 2009 - Best of the Decade

As an actress, Charlotte Gainsbourg has made a career by placing herself in the hands of collaborators. In 2006, she took that theory into the studio for the first time in 20 years, working with Air, Jarvis Cocker, and Neil Hannon to create dreamy sophomore album 5:55. Now, four years later, Gainsbourg is back with a little help from a friendthis time, Beck. More

Jan 25, 2010 Music Issue #29 - Year End 2009 - Best of the Decade

What an incredible year for Animal Collective! First they release their monumental Merriweather Post Pavilion to near universal critical acclaim. It charts in the Billboard Top 20, a feat nearly unimaginable 10 years ago when the band began releasing albums. More

Jan 22, 2010 Music Web Exclusive

How much faith can one have in a band that breaks up in the wake of the release of their third album? Shame really as The Rakes' third-time-is-a-charm effort, Klang sounds like the British quartet is sticking to what it knows best: Taut and punchy energy that defined them since their debut, Capture/Release. More

Jan 14, 2010 Music Web Exclusive

Stephen Wilkinson aka Bibio ruled 2009 with three full-length releases. Vignetting the Compost came out in February on Mush and was more of Bibio's Boards of Canada-without-the-beat pastiche that his fans have come to expect. He then put out his Warp Records debut, Ambivalence Avenue, in June, and branched out into more beat-oriented and vocal material to great effect. More

Beak>

Beak>

Ipecac

Jan 14, 2010 Music Web Exclusive

Portishead's Geoff Barrow joined with fellow Bristol musicians Billy Fuller and Matt Williams in January 2009 to create a disciplined soundscape called Beak>. More

Lady Gaga

The Fame Monster

Streamline/Interscope

Jan 13, 2010 Music Web Exclusive

Lady Gaga's appearance on Saturday Night Live last year was notable not only for her game-changing piano improvisation during her second performance, which showcased her stunning voice and piano skills, but also for the passing of the pop torch to her from Madonna during a skit. More