Homeboy Sandman, ‘Chimera’ (Stones Throw)

Bubbling, birth-of-the-earth, primordial production paired with quasi-#Based calls for empathy and verity.
Christopher R. Weingarten / April 18, 2012

Dragonforce, ‘The Power Within’ (RRR)

Even with a new singer, the power metallers’ shredder miasma just lands between Maiden and Helloween.
Kory Grow / April 18, 2012

Scars on 45, ‘Scars on 45′ (Chop Shop/Atlantic)

Pretty much just those forgotten ’90s Squeeze albums produced with Coldplay’s sense of subtlety.
Christopher R. Weingarten / April 18, 2012

We Are Serenades, ‘Criminal Heaven’ (Cherrytree/Interscope)

Shout Out Louds leader and Swede pal unite for sweet twee-pop festooned with lush studio filigree.
Barry Walters / April 18, 2012

Willis Earl Beal, ‘Acousmatic Sorcery’ (XL Recordings)

The Willis Earl Beal myth — a former soldier, briefly homeless, who now lives on the South Side of Chicago with his grandmother and staple…
Amanda Petrusich / April 17, 2012

Allo Darlin’, ‘Europe’ (Slumberland)

Don’t call it “twee pop”: Aussie Elizabeth Morris’ gorgeous, big-hearted songs will lift the weariest soul.
Jon Young / April 17, 2012

Mean Jeans, ‘On Mars’ (Dirtnap)

Portland pop-punk heroes rip, party, toob, hang tuff, spit out a wealth of unshakeable, Ramones-stamped gems.
David Bevan / April 17, 2012

Ebo Taylor, ‘Appia Kwa Bridge’ (Strut)

Ghanaian groove god still has spring in his rhythmic step, but the voice-and-guitar ballad moves most.
David Marchese / April 17, 2012

TJ Kong & Modular K , ‘Dream Cargoes’ (Poker Flat)

A sleek ride modeled after Carl Craig’s Landcruising: Deluxe detailing, but too much autopilot.
Philip Sherburne / April 17, 2012

Wayne Krantz, ‘Howie 61′ (Abstract Logix)

Usually dazzling outside jazz-funk guitarist takes fusion-y rock turn; results often on par with title pun.
Richard Gehr / April 17, 2012
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