Feb 16, 2010 Music Web Exclusive

Toppling the band's two previous EPs, Escape takes Moon Duo's hyper-repetitive psych drone to a new level of rock. While the drum (drum machine?) beats may never change and the bass riffs are three notes at the most, Moon Duo gets by with layers of rhythm topped with deliriously overdriven guitar wankeryI mean that in a good way. More

Feb 12, 2010 Music Issue #29 - Year End 2009 - Best of the Decade

For their third studio album In This Light and On This Evening, Britain's Editors have swapped guitars for synths and pessimism for nihilism. However, in their attempts to procure an oppressively dark ambience, they have bypassed heroes Depeche Mode and New Order, landing straight in standard-issue mall-Goth territory—a place with little thematic variance. More

Eels

End Times

Vagrant

Feb 11, 2010 Music Issue #29 - Year End 2009 - Best of the Decade

"I'll lock the world away/Haunted by my better days," Mark Oliver Everett, aka E, wheezes dejectedly on "Nowadays," exhibiting the dignified sense of resignation that colors End Times, the second Eels album in less than 10 months, and light years away emotionally from his most recent, Hombre Lobo. Lobo found E assuming the fictional werewolf character "Dog Faced Boy," waxing rapturously of unrequited love and desire. Here, he seems enmeshed in memory, consumed with the inevitable deterioration of relationships across time and distance, while still fitfully yearning for redemption. More

Feb 10, 2010 Music Issue #29 - Year End 2009 - Best of the Decade

She was a sultry blues singer. He was an internationally admired beat-maker. They said it couldn't work. They were right. More

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