Hot new albums: Improve your life with summer’s best releases

Elizabeth Knowles

Contributing Writer

The critics have sung accolades for The National’s High Violet and gushed over Arcade Fire’s The Suburbs, but somehow dismissed several summer albums that deserve mention.

Sufjan Steven’s All Delighted People is delightfully bewildering.  Overly dramatic choruses and discordant plinking noises fill this eight track EP, so like a lot of Steven’s work it probably isn’t appropriate for the faint of musical heart.  However, there’s a lot of substance and lyricism below the strange electronic riffs.

The Budos Band released one of the greatest of the summer.  Retro and funky, it was best described as a mix between James Bond and James Brown.  Budos Band III is Ratatat circa 1967.

The Love Language’s Libraries is full of crescendos and orchestral swells offset by an appealing lo-fi sound.  There’s some great catchy songs on this album sung by a vocalist that sometimes sounds like Matthew Ward and sometimes like Donovan, but avoid close listening of the awkward lyrics.  The fuzz on the vocals is enough you can thoroughly enjoy blasting this out your car windows without being embarrassed.

Menomena’s new album sometimes seems like it’s trying to trick the listener into thinking it’s deeper than it is, but if your music a little Blur and a little spastic, you’ll appreciate Mines.

Sun Kil Moon’s Admiral Fell Promises is a sleepy album featuring Mark Kozelek alone on a nylon-stringed guitar.  Charming and quiet, it promises to linger on your playlist into autumn for those meditative moments.

And let’s face it. Best Coast’s Crazy for You is silly and full of lyrics like, well, “crazy for you” but it’s hard not to love surf rock—or Bethany Cosentino.

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