I'm From Barcelona | Let Me Introduce My Friends
Under the guidance of principal songwriter Emanuel Lundgren, the debut from this coyly-named Swedish pop collective might be the Scandinavian answer to the Broken Social Scene, even if they choose hugely-orchestrated '60s sunshine over eclectic modernism. The set of buoyant, propulsive indie pop has one foot in The Beach Boys' Smile and the other in modern pop treatments from Beck, who seems to have taught Lundgren how to sing. With its big-gang backup vocals and spaced-out harmonies, LMIMF is an impressive introduction to the happiest band around. - Nate C.
One Track Recommendation: We're From Barcelona"

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Wilco | Sky Blue Sky
If you prefer songcraft to sonic exploration, you'll fall for Wilco's Sky Blue Sky like you did for Being There. They wrote it in the studio as a band, and like any good album, the magic unfolds with repeated listens. In moments where Wilco settle back into the subtlety of their Americana roots, guitar phenomenon Nels Cline lets loose with something jazzy and proggy, but tasteful. "Either Way" is a simple, sunny song that sets the tone with a warm George Harrison feel. Doubled leads on "Impossible Germany" recall '70s soft-rock obscurities like the cosmic, countrified Krautrock of Sand. - E.Shea
I forgot to mention that Rhapsody got the Premiere stream of the album last Tuesday, I was so busy listening to it that I forgot to blog about it. The Young Wiseman Dan K mentioned that he thought there were riffs on SBS which reminded him of some old Steely Dan riffs. I think there's something to it, give it a stream and tell me what you think. - TK

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ALO | Roses and Clover
Local boys done great! It's so heartwarming to watch the maturation of ALO from California college band to local jam band to scene stalwart, and knowing that they are still on the rise you wonder just how big they can go. In order to keep climbing the heart charts, a band must put out a solid studio album to add to the infectious live show. This new album makes it two in a row for ALO. Roses and Clover sees the SF foursome playfully collaborating with the veteran producer Robert Carranza (Beck, Ozomatli), freely knitting sun-soaked funk and gritty jam with uplifting lyrics, infectious hooks and rootsy rhythms. The album opens with first single "Maria," a summery, groove-heavy testament to love that makes ya feel like I'm ridin in a convertible down the coast. "Plastic Bubble" showcases a campy ukulele while "Lady Loop" bursts with lusty bass licks and oodles of keyboard twists. To quoth the Tan Man, "People just have a tendency to gravitate towards this band. The energy they put out is infectious, and they always seem to be able to maintain their roots while further expanding their fanbase. If ALO was a TV show, they would be 'Cheers'." - SS+TK, w/TW quote

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