Album reviews in 30 seconds or less.
Sounds Like: Dreamy, electronic, beat-heavy sweetness from the Manitoba man—suited equally for dancefloors, driving with windows open and retail shopping.
Free Association: “Odessa” is going to be the effing jam of the summer!
For Fans Of: Hot Chip, Koushik, Four Tet, Daft Punk.
Sounds Like: Leeds-bred dubstep producer’s debut is an upbeat, Euro-flavored guest-littered collection of beats, synths, dance-floor anthems and lounge jams.
Free Association: Not sure any of these live up to “Cockney Thug.”
For Fans Of: Caspa, Chromeo meets the Bug.
Sounds Like: The beatbox and producer extraordinaire drops a sick collection of funky, filthy neo-soul songs full of exciting, catchy, headbobbing moments.
Free Association: Oh, snap! Beck and Feist show up, but can’t steal the show.
For Fans Of: Super Collider, Prince and Aphex Twin, UK white soul.
The Black Keys
Sounds Like: They keep it fresh each time, taking their brand of bluesy two-piece garage rock to different places. This one’s a bit more upbeat and radio-friendly.
Free Association: Your daily recommended allowance of tambourines, whistles and handclaps; rejoice.
For Fans Of: Silver Jews, White Stripes, Rapture.
Sounds Like: Mature, folk-minded man rock with Joe Pernice’s gentle voice out front.
Free Association: Hear it wafting from your local County Fair, along with the smell of cow poop.
For Fans Of: Guster, Wallflowers, Counting Crows, sensitivity.
Sounds Like: Energetic, feisty power rock (bordering on punk) from a band of Brit friends who listened to a lot of Buzzcocks when they were kids.
Free Association: There are no breaks here. Fast-paced, fist-pump rock start to finish.
For Fans Of: The Jam, Wire, the Clash, harder Franz Ferdinand.
Sounds Like: Huffamoose alums’ debut LP is a sprawling, moody masterpiece of modern rock that’s not emo or whiny, nor trendy or retro; it’s just right.
Free Association: Ready for their close-up at WXPN—lovely, soft adult rock.
For Fans Of: Steely Dan, Robin Thicke sings for the Verve.
Sounds Like: Philly’s own Theotis Joe is a stylish, smart and beat-savvy emcee with a caramel voice and smooth delivery on his soulful R&B-flavored LP.
Free Association: The collabs with Latebloom are solid and funktastic.
For Fans Of: The Roots meet Air, Raphael Saadiq feels up Robyn.
PW's Music Issue 2014