Album Reviews

This week Future ofthe Left, Metric, and Spaceghostpurrp

Fiona Apple
The IdlerWheel …
★★★★ (out of 5 stars)

The lullaby plinks of opener "Every Single Night" are the last hints of peace on this follow-up to 2005's Extraordinary Machine. Everything else is a primal representation of Apple's album-length nightmare: the needy rumble of nocturnal desire ("Hot Knife"); the romantic carnage of her last relationship ("Werewolf"), complete with background screams (and some sly "lycan/liken" wordplay). More pop-minded devotees may recoil from her mild inaccessibility, but the roiling spectacle of Apple's transition from sullen specter to bloodthirsty banshee isn't for the faint of heart, anyway. – Justin Strout

The Intelligence
Everybody's Got It Easy But Me
(In the Red)
★★★★ (out of 5 stars)

Lars Finberg is one of the brightest and funniest dudes in the rock underground right now. He also makes great music, not just with his "main" band, the Intelligence, but also with Thee Oh Sees and ... well, a lot of others. The Intelligence's sixth album shows off a more restrained version of incisive, post-punk-y noise-pop, with cuts like "The Entertainer" and "Sunny Backyard" locking into beefy garage-tinged grooves, while more sober numbers like "Techno Tuesday" and "Dim Limelights" split the difference between XTC and Ted Leo.
Jason Ferguson

Happy Tears
(Feel Trip)
★★★ (out of 5 stars)

Parents, if you have a teenage daughter in the summer of 2012 with one eye on college and the other on the open road, do not let her anywhere near this EP. Happy Tears is this year's American Beauty by the Grateful Dead, a 16-minute shot of aural courage, all wistful and yearning, trippy and melancholy – everything your not-so-little Lindsay Weir needs to get on the summer bus of self-exploration. And you don't want that, do you? – JS

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