Music Article

Albums: Feb. 17, 2012

Reviews of new releases from Amos Lee, Ben Kweller, and more

Amos Lee, As the Crow Flies
Taken from the Mission Bell sessions, the honey-voiced folkster's six-song EP is worth it mainly for lead track ''The Darkness,'' a brooding, alluringly uneasy number bearing the thumbprint of its producer, Calexico frontman Joey Burns. The rest, a jumble of B sides, slips by in a pleasant enough blues-folk haze. BRay Rahman

Air, Le Voyage Dans la Lune
With Martin Scorsese's big-screen love letter Hugo, cinematic pioneer George Méliès is having a moment, so it's a perfect time for Air's soundtrack to his 1902 film A Trip to the Moon. Now available on CD/DVD, their grandiose score will make you glad that this silent film isn't silent anymore. AMelissa Maerz

Shaggy, Summer in Kingston
Flush with escapist island jams and catchy hedonism, the dancehall kingpin's latest release proves why he's one of Jamaica's top exports after Red Stripe and can-do bobsled teams. Be sure to slather on some February sunblock before pressing play. B+RR

Ben Kweller, Go Fly a Kite
The title of Kweller's fifth solo album isn't meant as a kiss-off — with two kids and a veteran's eye, he'd rather enjoy simple pleasures than make his lighthearted power pop too complicated. The result is a sweetly evocative day at the park. B+Kyle Anderson

Tennis, Young & Old
After last year's nautical-indie breakout Cape Dory, the married Denver duo double down on their '60s sound by bringing on the Black Keys' Patrick Carney, who adds a Motown-y polish — but costs them a little of their debut's breezy spontaneity. B+ —RR

Heartless Bastards, Arrow
The Austin garage stalwarts' barroom stompers and country-inflected ballads are elevated to another league by the strident yet emotionally nuanced vocals of frontwoman Erika Wennerstrom, which light up every track — from Byrds-ian rocker ''Parted Ways'' to loose-limbed love song ''Only for You.'' B+Clark Collis

Originally posted Feb 10, 2012 Published in issue #1194 Feb 17, 2012 Order article reprints
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