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AllMusic Staff Pick:
The Pontiac Brothers
Doll Hut/Fiesta en la Biblioteca
They didn’t have a songwriter quite as good as Paul Westerberg, but for sheer rock action, sweaty passion, and beer-addled fun, the Pontiac Brother deserved a level of...

AllMusic Staff Pick:
The Pontiac Brothers
Doll Hut/Fiesta en la Biblioteca

They didn’t have a songwriter quite as good as Paul Westerberg, but for sheer rock action, sweaty passion, and beer-addled fun, the Pontiac Brother deserved a level of popularity commensurate with that of their friends and kindred spirits the Replacements. This two-fer release brings together their second and third albums (from 1985 and 1986), and it sums up their blend of hard rock swagger and regular-guy attitude pretty brilliantly. Dude Gnarly, you are missed.

- Mark Deming

allmusic staff picks the pontiac brothers
AllMusic Staff Pick:
David Raksin
David Raksin Conducts His Great Film Scores
Best known by the time of his death in 2004 and still today for his haunting theme to the film noir classic Laura (1944), this re-recorded collection of score material...

AllMusic Staff Pick:
David Raksin

David Raksin Conducts His Great Film Scores

Best known by the time of his death in 2004 and still today for his haunting theme to the film noir classic Laura (1944), this re-recorded collection of score material conducted by the Oscar-nominated composer himself features expressive performances by the New Philharmonic Orchestra. Originally released in 1975, it includes “Laura” as well as highlights from the historical adventure Forever Amber (1947) and film-industry melodrama The Bad and the Beautiful (1952).

- Macy Donelson

allmusic staff picks david raksin the bad and the beautiful
AllMusic Staff Pick:
Phoebe Bridgers
Stranger in the Alps
Every song on Pheobe Bridgers’ debut album has a distinct storyline, but all of them either directly reference a person or the singer. Yet be warned for those curious about her storytelling,...

AllMusic Staff Pick:
Phoebe Bridgers
Stranger in the Alps

Every song on Pheobe Bridgers’ debut album has a distinct storyline, but all of them either directly reference a person or the singer. Yet be warned for those curious about her storytelling, Stranger in the Alps is not a feel-good album with Bridgers’ haunting voice and gut-wrenching lyrics. But sometimes we listen to music to have a beautiful time, not necessarily a happy time.

- Kylie Lynne

allmusic staff picks phoebe bridgers
AllMusic Staff Pick:
Lotic
Power
One of the founders of Berlin’s legendary Janus collective and a pioneer of the loosely defined experimental club scene, Lotic’s full-length debut is an immensely compelling work which confronts gender norms and...

AllMusic Staff Pick:
Lotic
Power

One of the founders of Berlin’s legendary Janus collective and a pioneer of the loosely defined experimental club scene, Lotic’s full-length debut is an immensely compelling work which confronts gender norms and racial biases, in addition to addressing fear, vulnerability, and inner strength. Her lyrics add a bracing level of poignancy to the adventurous sonic constructions, with songs like “Hunted” and “Bulletproof” expressing feelings of being targeted due to her skin color and gender non-conformity.

- Paul Simpson

allmusic staff picks lotic
AllMusic Staff Pick:
Nico Muhly / Teitur
Confessions
A collaboration between the American composer and Faroese singer/songwriter, this at times profound album was inspired by the early days of social networking and the phenomenon of people uploading...

AllMusic Staff Pick:
Nico Muhly / Teitur
Confessions

A collaboration between the American composer and Faroese singer/songwriter, this at times profound album was inspired by the early days of social networking and the phenomenon of people uploading mundane, sometimes revealing home videos. Originally conceived as a shorter set for multimedia live performance, it grew to 14 songs that they recorded with the Holland Baroque ensemble. Included are subjects like “Coffee Expert,” “Cat Rescue,” and “Don’t I Know You from Somewhere?”

- Marcy Donelson

allmusic staff picks nico muhly teitur
AllMusic Staff Pick:
Gorillaz
Song Machine, Season One: Strange Timez
For anyone looking to explore many sounds, artists, and moods all at once, Song Machine, Season One: Strange Timez by the Gorilaz is the place to start. Though there are so many...

AllMusic Staff Pick:
Gorillaz
Song Machine, Season One: Strange Timez

For anyone looking to explore many sounds, artists, and moods all at once, Song Machine, Season One: Strange Timez by the Gorilaz is the place to start. Though there are so many features on this album that it would be easy for it to all sound like a jumble, Damon Albarn’s distinct voice offers a polite guiding hand that gives enough consistency for the contrasting sounds to not be so jarring.

- Kylie Lynee

allmusic staff picks gorillaz
AllMusic Staff Pick:
Iron Maiden
Live After Death
Nothing short of epic in scope, sound, and histrionics, Iron Maiden’s 1985 live album Live After Death easily ranks as one of the best live albums in heavy metal history. Taken from shows in L.A. and...

AllMusic Staff Pick:
Iron Maiden
Live After Death

Nothing short of epic in scope, sound, and histrionics, Iron Maiden’s 1985 live album Live After Death easily ranks as one of the best live albums in heavy metal history. Taken from shows in L.A. and London, the lengthy set captures the band at their peak and running through a best-of setlist of their most loved material up until that point.

- Fred Thomas

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AllMusic Staff Pick:
Sukia
Contacto Espacial con el Tercer Sexo
A quarter-century after its release, the lone album from the avant-lounge collective Sukia remains a glorious oddity. Funnier and weirder than most trip-hop acts and far less traditional...

AllMusic Staff Pick:
Sukia
Contacto Espacial con el Tercer Sexo


A quarter-century after its release, the lone album from the avant-lounge collective Sukia remains a glorious oddity. Funnier and weirder than most trip-hop acts and far less traditional than most lounge revivalists, the group carves out its own invitingly bizarre niche on Contacto Espacial con el Tercer Sexo, combining cheesy and sleazy samples and vintage instrumentation with help from the Dust Brothers at their most outlandish.

- Heather Phares

allmusic staff picks sukia