A Cut Above

NYC's queens of kitsch mine classic-rock vault

Air – Talkie Walkie

French duo return to form on third album proper

G Unit – Beg For Mercy

50 Cent's ill-conceived follow-up to Get Rich Or Die Tryin'

Various Artists – Beautiful: A Tribute To Gordon Lightfoot

Gord's substantial pot of gold gets prospected, Canadian-style

Elephant Man – Good 2 Go

Jamaican superstar guns for international success

The Flaming Lips – Ego Tripping At The Gates Of Hell

Seven-track EP with four brand new Wayne Coyne compositions

Alejandro Escovedo – With These Hands

Given Escovedo's current fate (stricken with Hepatitis C), this 1996 reissue is particularly welcome. Remastered with an extra disc of live recordings from that year, With These Hands was a rocking departure from the ex-Rank And File man's solo predecessors. With Willie Nelson, brother Pete (ex-Santana) and niece Sheila E on board, it's a suitably raucous affair, though the full band tends to swamp Escovedo's dusky timbre occasionally. The spare "Pissed Off 2am" and "Tired Skin" (vox/piano only) are more affecting, as is the title track's percussive Latino snap.

Thomas Denver Jonsson & The September Sunrise – Hope To Her

The latest Swedish cowboy, Jonsson was praised early last year for his subtle-sweet EP Then I Kissed Her Softly. Having trodden European boards with Damien Jurado and Rosie Thomas, the 23-year-old's LP debut roots itself in similar earth. There's much of Jurado in his downcast tremble, while Fredrik Wilde's pedal-steel and Carl Edlom's softly cantering piano brighten the corners. "Shades Of Green" and "Black And Blue" shuffle with the kind of milky-moon sadness Neil Young patented on After The Gold Rush. Elsewhere, there are hints of the Palace Brothers and Low.

Bobby Conn And The Glass Gypsies – The Homeland

Chicago's king of camp cool recovers from major head surgery to mess with everyone's brain

Chicago Underground Trio – Slon

High-quality laptop jazztronica from the prolific Chicago-based collective
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