Sound advice 

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Gary Wilson

Feel the Beat

Tip Records

Buy if you like: Frank Zappa, Beck

Gary Wilson may be the best rock comeback story of the millennium. Since his return to music after 20 years of inactivity, he hasn't wasted time recording new material. With Feel the Beat, Wilson continues his experimental pop/jazz journey, accompanied by long walks in the dark with his recurring mystery lovers, Linda and Cindy. The composer of "6.4 = Make Out" also sings about makeout sessions with new ladies and, on "Lugene Kissed Gary Last Night," someone whose gender is unknown and whose advances are apparently unwanted by the kiss-centric artist. The compositions and execution tend to be more sophisticated than on previous recordings, suggesting Wilson put a lot of time and thought into this album. Fun, whimsical and bound to encourage spontaneous dance moves, Feel the Beat is a worthy addition to Wilson's unconventional legacy. — Jordannah Elizabeth

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The Great Execution

Century Media

Buy if you like: Morbid Angel, Behemoth

Excuse me if I sound tired, but I just got back from an hour-long horse ride through Hell. At least that's what it felt like listening to the newest album from Brazilian death metal legends Krisiun. The Great Execution, the band's eighth studio album, opens with "Will to Potency," its beautiful flamenco guitar intro soon giving way to fast blast beats and full-on ripping guitars. From there, it's a full-blown assault from beginning to end, with harmonizing guitars accompanied by super hard grooves. And none of it is over-produced. The drums actually sound like drums, not machines. (I am so sick of this new crap being passed off as death metal; it sounds like someone's jacking off a pig over the same endlessly repeated riff.) Of course, the vocals on this album do have bits of cheese factor, but you need that cheese so the guitars have something to shred! — Bryan Ostrow

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Various Artists

This One's For Him: A Tribute to Guy Clark

Icehouse Records

Buy if you like: Lyle Lovett, John Hiatt

Texas native and longtime Nashville resident Guy Clark has long been beloved by songwriters and a loyal, global fanbase. On this double-disc tribute, we're reminded why. In nuanced versions of Clark's tunes that sometimes eclipse the originals, protégés and worshipers shed light on what makes Clark a consummate craftsman. Kevin Welch gives "Magdalene" a sense of resignation, without letting hope slip away. Willie Nelson's unhurried "Desperadoes Waiting for a Train," is one of his best efforts lately. Lyle Lovett and Patty Griffin duet exquisitely on "Anyhow, I Love You," and Shawn Colvin makes "All He Wants Is You" sound like it was written by a woman. Such is the power of these artists. And the songs — so strong, yet so malleable they can be done by others and still fit like a glove. — Lynne Margolis


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