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click to enlarge Dave Matthews & Tim Reynolds  - Live at Radio City  -  -  - RCA  -  - Sounds like: An acoustic rock lover's delight -  - Short take: All things considered, Dave and - Tim never disappoint -  - One tenet of longevity in rock 'n roll is the ability of an - artist to occasionally stretch his or her wings. For jam- - band icon Dave Matthews, that means one of two things: - a solo studio album, which he did (Some Devil) - in 2003, or working acoustically with longtime guitarist - and friend Tim Reynolds. Matthews bridges the two with - the recent acoustic-based Dave Matthews & Tim - Reynolds CD/DVD release Live at Radio City. - Similar to a quintessential live Dave Matthews Band - album, this new double-disc, 26-track affair features - sublime moments intermingled with lackluster ones. - Thankfully, there's more of the former than the latter. - Invariably, if you're a Dave Matthews fan, Live at - Radio City belongs on the iPod along with the other - two dozen bootlegs and official live releases you already - have.  John Benson
  • Dave Matthews & Tim Reynolds

    Live at Radio City

    RCA

    Sounds like: An acoustic rock lover's delight

    Short take: All things considered, Dave and Tim never disappoint

    One tenet of longevity in rock 'n roll is the ability of an artist to occasionally stretch his or her wings. For jam- band icon Dave Matthews, that means one of two things: a solo studio album, which he did (Some Devil) in 2003, or working acoustically with longtime guitarist and friend Tim Reynolds. Matthews bridges the two with the recent acoustic-based Dave Matthews & Tim Reynolds CD/DVD release Live at Radio City. Similar to a quintessential live Dave Matthews Band album, this new double-disc, 26-track affair features sublime moments intermingled with lackluster ones. Thankfully, there's more of the former than the latter. Invariably, if you're a Dave Matthews fan, Live at Radio City belongs on the iPod along with the other two dozen bootlegs and official live releases you already have. John Benson

click to enlarge Aesop Rock  - None Shall Pass  -  -  - Definitive Jux  -  - Sounds like: Hook-heavy hip-hop for all five - boroughs and beyond -  - Short take: After a pilgrimage into weirdness, a - master returns -  - Having digested experimental album Bazooka Tooth - out of his system, Aesop Rock harkens back to - more traditional left-field hip-hop for his new album, - None Shall Pass. Seeing that it took him three - years to make, one might expect the record to be even - more intricately odd. But, nope, it's actually his - most straightforward yet. Here, he teams up again with - sidekick Blockhead, who brings his usual blend of - Brooklyn-born, hard-jazz beats. Aesop is at the top of - his game lyrically here, both dizzying and astute, with - hilarious lines sprinkled throughout: "Bullets don't take - bribes, stupid, they shoot shit." None Shall Pass - is a successful return to form, certainly, but one that - seems more welcome now, Aesop having risen above - formality.   Matt Martin
  • Aesop Rock

    None Shall Pass

    Definitive Jux

    Sounds like: Hook-heavy hip-hop for all five boroughs and beyond

    Short take: After a pilgrimage into weirdness, a master returns

    Having digested experimental album Bazooka Tooth out of his system, Aesop Rock harkens back to more traditional left-field hip-hop for his new album, None Shall Pass. Seeing that it took him three years to make, one might expect the record to be even more intricately odd. But, nope, it's actually his most straightforward yet. Here, he teams up again with sidekick Blockhead, who brings his usual blend of Brooklyn-born, hard-jazz beats. Aesop is at the top of his game lyrically here, both dizzying and astute, with hilarious lines sprinkled throughout: "Bullets don't take bribes, stupid, they shoot shit." None Shall Pass is a successful return to form, certainly, but one that seems more welcome now, Aesop having risen above formality. Matt Martin

click to enlarge M.I.A.  - Kala  -  -  - XL/Interscope  -  - Sounds like: Lady Sovereign  but good, and - interesting -  - Short take: Straight-up weirdness that works -  - Regardless of your temperament to bizarre speech- - shout hyperpop, Sri Lankan pseudo-rapper M.I.A. - (Mathangi Arulpragasm) is worth a listen  if merely just - to hear one of the most unique person-events of post- - millennial music. (She's the ubiquitous guilty party of - "Galang," the club song everyone's heard and no one - knows the origin of.) Her sophomore album, Kala, - might as well be a laundry list of its influences - (grime, bhangra, electro, old- and new-school hip-hop), - and Arulpragasm jumps from one influence to the next. - Luckily, she's less psychotically bushy-tailed than on her - innovative-but-taxing debut Arular, bringing - more vocal versatility to her everywhere-all-at-once - music. See her tracks "Bamboo Banga" or "Paper Planes," - which at least attempt to focus her ADD high jinks. -  Matt Martin
  • M.I.A.

    Kala

    XL/Interscope

    Sounds like: Lady Sovereign but good, and interesting

    Short take: Straight-up weirdness that works

    Regardless of your temperament to bizarre speech- shout hyperpop, Sri Lankan pseudo-rapper M.I.A. (Mathangi Arulpragasm) is worth a listen if merely just to hear one of the most unique person-events of post- millennial music. (She's the ubiquitous guilty party of "Galang," the club song everyone's heard and no one knows the origin of.) Her sophomore album, Kala, might as well be a laundry list of its influences (grime, bhangra, electro, old- and new-school hip-hop), and Arulpragasm jumps from one influence to the next. Luckily, she's less psychotically bushy-tailed than on her innovative-but-taxing debut Arular, bringing more vocal versatility to her everywhere-all-at-once music. See her tracks "Bamboo Banga" or "Paper Planes," which at least attempt to focus her ADD high jinks. Matt Martin

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