By Bryan Bierman
By Lindsey Rhoades
By Chaz Kangas
By Ben Westhoff and Sarah Purkrabek
By Jena Ardell
By Jesse Sendejas Jr.
By Katherine Turman
By Steve Weinstein
Dud of the Month
Shout-outs are one thing, name-dropping is another: on "Dreams" alone, Dre, 50, Pac, Biggie, Snoop, Eazy, Kanye, Whitney, Jam Master Jay, Marvin Gaye, Frankie Beverly, Aaliyah, Left Eye, Mya, Viveca, Yetunde Price, Venus and Serena Williams, Huey Newton, Martin Luther King, Marshall Mathers, "Vibe magazine," and Dave Mays. Now permit me to refrain from listing the titles from which the title track is constructed. Dull even when he isn't describing his medical problems, this no-talent is masscult rock at its most brazen, as certain to fall as Tom DeLay (meaning it looks that way and I hope the fuck). He's not Asia or Whitesnake, who reconstituted known elements. Even Nelson had a pedigree, although you could say Game's Crip mom equals their cokehead dad. Eddie Money, maybe? Lasted too long, but an ex-copperfect. C MINUS
Additional Consumer News
Is that the world ending in his rearview mirror, or just his career? ("Rental Car," "Earthquake Weather," "Qué Onda Guero").
8 Million Stories
Blueprint free-associates at his own risk, RJD2 distracts on principle ("Fuckajob," "The Jerry Springer Episode").
DEVIN THE DUDE
To tha X-Treme
Languid Houston rapper makes love and jokes out of how hard meaning no harm can be ("Briarpatch," "What?").
Peanuts and Corn
McEnroe All-Stars trade EP cameos ("Breakfast All Day," "No Other MC").
AZZDDINE WITH BILL LASWELL
The Delivery Man
The Impostors sound even more pissed off than Elvis, who seems less embittered as a result ("Button My Lip," "There's a Story in Your Voice").
LOS CAMPEROS DE VALLES
El Ave de Mi Soñar
Curated specimens of Veracruz style captured all the way live on Corason's El Caimán: Sones Huastecos ("El Aguanieve," "El Llorar").
Brother Moses Smote the Water
Like the Lord God Jahweh, gospel-klezmer collaboration can be awesome or awful ("Elijah Rock," "Didn't It Rain").
THE ROUGH GUIDE TO THE MUSIC OF CENTRAL ASIA
World Music Network
Bands from the 'stans, where traditional meets classical and rock is as modern as hip-hop (Ashkabad, "From the Station to the Mill"; Sherali Juraev, "Oz'begim"; National Assembly of the Presidential Orchestra, "Zhez-kiik").
SÍ, SOY LLANERO: JOROPO MUSIC FROM THE ORINOCO PLAINS OF COLOMBIA
Harp and bandola cowboy songs dressed up with the occasional vocal (Ana Veydó, "Un Llanero de Verdad"; Carlos Quintero, "Los Diamantes").
Musicality covers over only so much gunrunning and sexual exploitation, though more than I would have figured ("Girls," "Get Down").
Representing for treating women decent ("Paradise," "My Place").
"Hideyaface" (Surrounded by Silence, Warp)
(A Healthy Distrust, Epitaph)
(Fast Cars, Danger, Fire and Knives, Definitive Jux)
CLASSIC FOLK MUSIC
ROBERT DOWNEY JR
Before the Poison
West Coast Resurrection
(Putumayo World Music)
Volume One: unIndian songs (Anticon)