Doom pioneers bestow exceptional eighth album.
Curious Volume sounds noticeably stronger than 2011’s Last Rites. Like a feral cat on its ninth life, Pentagram’s Bobby Liebling channels his demons and victories into these riff-rife rockers with historic authority. His adoration for Blue Cheer’s songwriting surfaces throughout. Young longhairs with big amps take note – your riffs won’t endure without memorable songs. –Eric Shea
Koffi Olomide is one of Africa’s most revered active artists. As the title implies, Koffi Chante Tabu Ley documents his tribute to one of Africa’s most revered singers of yesteryear, Tabu Ley Rochereau. Recorded live in Kinshasa, Koffi’s band is crackin’, his voice butter. Sparkling tunes to lift your spirit with beauty. –Diego Gonzalez
Painted Palms excavate synthpop’s origins.
Duran Duran and Pet Shop Boys brought synthpop to the masses. But Painted Palms look earlier for inspiration, to artists like Gary Numan and Visage, who first applied synthesizers to pop music. On Horizons, the San Francisco duo update classic new wave in ways that are alternately gloomy (“Glaciers”) and soaring (“Control”) but always propulsive. –Party Ben
Proving revolutionary hip hop words don’t have be sonically stereotypical, Talib recruits Miguel, Ab-Soul, Styles P, Kaytranada and The Alchemist to diversify his musical palette. By delivering a free album and flipping the bird to the industry, Fuck The Money proves Kweli’s artistry is consistent, whether he’s paid or not. –J Boogie
Released hot on the heels of her Kardashians-meet-Downton Abbey Comedy Central sitcom Another Period, the artist also known as “Natty Leggs” hilariously slams Burning Man, takes a swipe at Martin Lawrence, suggests a good name for a ghost and offers a fresh, truly original take on the differences between men and women. –Kelly Anneken
A La Próxima.
Argentine-born singer-songwriter and guitarist, Loli Molina, makes an impression with the first line uttered on “Los Días.” Her latest, Rubi, has a minimal feel, with sweeping moments of harmony and humble intimacy. In an arena where innovation is a struggle to uncover, Molina is unpredictable and non-derivative, with an understated clarity that is wonderful to take in. –Marcos Juarez
Forty years of umlauts, moles and rock ‘n’ roll!
Bad Magic is the 22nd (!) album from these metal lifers, and while Motörhead’s legendary frontman has endured a series of ailments and cancelled performances recently (not to mention a surprising switch from whiskey to vodka), the group remains in fine fettle here, delivering yet another furious collection of punk-metal pummel. (UDR Music) Andee Connors