[Grade: B-] A collection of B- and C-sides, covers and re-recordings, High Hopes doesn't exactly top the list of Springsteen's most essential recent records.
K7's venerable DJ-Kicks series — which sees its 20th year (and 50th installment) in 2014 — has been in a resolutely housey mode of late, and the two mellow-leaning volumes dropped late last year were no exceptions.
[Grade: B] Grassed Inn (Fire) is good-time, falling-down-the-stairs rock 'n' roll.
[Grade: C] Corny self-help quotes are scattered across these unfocused, Billboard-aspiring struggle raps and spurious I'm-the-boss ones.
[Grade: B+] Aljawal offers an astonishingly fluid fusion that, even in a musical climate overrun with trans-cultural cross-pollinations, feels surprising and truly exotic.
[Grade: B] Above all, Florida's You Blew It! deserves credit for touting initials-carved-in-tree-trunks sincerity in these cynical times.
[Grade: B] There's some weird timing and a bit of rambling, but that good-natured, exasperated parent/spouse routine still holds up.
[Grade: B+] Paul Woolford layers breaks upon breaks not to recreate the form of classic jungle but to probe its evocative potential.
[Grade: C+] The thrashpunk sound is blown out to full-on hair metal on what might be this Ween offshoot's most sonically interesting album to date.
[Grade: A-] This album favors a more modern flavor than his last, but it's every bit as emotive, lush and beautiful.
[Grade: B-] They may take a close second to The Feelies when it comes to Hoboken indie rock luminaries.
[Grade: A] A three-disc career-spanner that hits on the man's many moods.
[Grade: A] A new four-disc compilation from the legends.
[Grade: A-] There's some serious aesthetic boundary-testing happening here.
You probably think you don't need another lush, folkie sister act in your life, but give lovely Lily & Madeleine a shot anyway.