Sea of Cowards (Third Man/Warner Bros.)
The Dead Weather
Blues, psychedelia and old-school metal collide on the most recent release from Jack White’s heaviest, grooviest band yet. White’s on drums this time around, and frontwoman Alison Mosshart (of The Kills) steals the show here, oozing sexual tension and unabashed rage left and right. Bassist Jack Lawrence and guitarist and keyboardist Dean Fertita supply the riffs, and White the Bonhamesque fills, on what is ultimately a far more collaborative effort than 2009’s “Horehound”.
Written by Jared Brenner
Body Talk, Pt. 2 (Konichiwa)
When the Swedish singer-songwriter of late ’90s fame claims, “You know my style’s revolutionary, even the Russians know better than to [mess] with me” in “U Should Know Better” (featuring Snoop Dogg), it’s refreshingly brash. And in the current trend of Lady GaGa and Nicki Minaj, Robyn has five studio albums to back her claims up. Harsher songs are balanced with softer melodies of vulnerability in tracks like “Hang With Me,” but all the songs will make you “put your dancing shoes on and do it again,” as Robyn suggests in “In My Eyes.”
Written by Madeline Twomey
Sleigh Bells’ debut album is one for the books. The surprising combination of Derek Miller’s heavy metal guitar riffs and Alexis Krauss’ angelic yet slightly haunting voice work together in unexpected ways without being too heavy. The lo-fi album is slightly reminiscent of M.I.A., which shouldn’t come as a surprise considering it’s backed by her record label N.E.E.T.
Written by Katie Donham
Barbara (PIAS/Master Swan)
We Are Scientists
We Are Scientists is the type of alternative-rock band where there is no need to overthink. “Barbara”, especially, builds upon the band’s alternative, indie and slightly nerdy reputation of addictive music. Their witty lyrics mix with their signature sounds as though W.A.S. didn’t even try to make this album the most addictive, entertaining one yet.
Written by Melanie Emas