Turn Off The News (Build A Garden) (CD)

Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real have a message on their latest, Turn Off the News (Build a Garden). The likable title track implores listeners to do just that. Give people something to believe in. Endow your way of life with hope. It’s a standout moment on an album filled with top-notch tracks, with high-profile collaborators like Kesha, Sheryl Crow, Neil Young, and Lukas’ father, Willie. The younger Nelson has created a strong showcase for his songwriting chops, with songs that effortlessly segue from country to folk to rock to soul. Impassioned and brilliant, there’s lots to love about this album.

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Servants Of The Sun (CD)

Chris Robinson Brotherhood starts their latest album, Servants of the Sun, on an uptempo note. The good times are rolling, with a few heart-worn ballads sprinkled into the mix. “Some Earthly Delights” starts the journey off with a psychedelic groove and “The Chauffeur’s Daughter” features ultra catchy licks with lyrics that feel like a future classic. Album closer “A Smiling Epitaph” is a stunner all on its own but it’s made even more poignant by the fact that the band has announced they’ll be taking a hiatus for an undisclosed period of time and that founding member Adam MacDougall has moved on from the CRB. Fortunately, this excellent LP should be in heavy rotation long enough to scratch the CRB itch for quite some time — Servants of the Sun is all killer, no filler.

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Barriers (CD)

Frank Iero's third solo outing, this time backed by his band The Future Violents, is a biting, hooky punch in the gut. He sheds some of the emo tropes and excessive studio layers associated with his original band, My Chemical Romance, for a more direct and stripped down approach. Lead single "Young and Doomed" sounds like it could have been a surprise, nasty B-side off of Weezer's Pinkerton.

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Here (CD)

The earnest earworm of opening track, “I’m In Love,” sets the tone for Here, Teenage Fanclub’s tenth album and first in six years. The Scottish quintet has crafted a sincere album about love, life, and all the other things that come to matter with maturity, and it’s catchy as hell. They may have shed some of the noise that gave edgy anchor to the melodious pop of their 1991 breakthrough album Bandwagonesque, but Here seems to prove that it has been Teenage Fanclub’s harmonies, melodies, and hooks that make up their core, keeping them relevant through the passing fashions of rock and roll.

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Lonerism (LP)

If Jeff Magnum (Neutral Milk Hotel) had been born 10 years later and became obsessed with tape loops, this is sort of what it would sound like. Stellar effort, even better than their first LP. Get on it, people.  

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