1. Phosphorescent: Muchacho. It’s a grower, but “The Quotidian Beasts” is a good song on first listen. 3.25 stars.

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2. Mikal Cronin: MCII. Cronin nearly manages to pull off the very difficult task of keeping a power pop album interesting all the way through. 4 stars.

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3. Foxygen: We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic. The band with the worst name may have made the best album of the year. 4.25 stars.

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4. Janelle Monae: The Electric Lady. The booty don’t lie. 4.5 stars.

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5. Deerhunter: Monomania. Dear young friends who sneer at Dad Rock: it’s a surprisingly short stagger from here to Wilco. 3.75 stars.

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6. Kurt Vile: Walkin on a Pretty Daze. I keep trying to find ways to dismiss this stony, drony little thing, but I just can’t do it. 3.75 stars.

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7. Vampire Weekend: Modern Vampires of the City. A really good band with a really distinctive sound and a really clear idea of what it wants to be, at the height of its powers. 4 stars.

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8. CHVURCHES: The Bones of What You Believe. It’s got that dancey, soaring synth pop thing, if you like that sort of thing. 3.5 stars.

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9. El-P and Killer Mike: Run the Jewels. This was not on Spotify, so I didn’t listen to it, but what I heard of it made it seem like competent rap. Incomplete.

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10. HAIM: Days Are Gone. It’s punchy and smart and the singles come first, but the best songs are near the end of the album. 3.5 stars.

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