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Fast reviews of recent releases

Barry Adamson, Stranger on the Sofa (Central Control). Ex-Magazine/Bad Seed bassist turned composer Barry Adamson aborts much of the film-noir-inspired aesthetic that made 1989's paranoid masterpiece Moss Side Story the template for every U.K. trip-hop outfit from Portishead to Tricky. Still evoking movies of the mind, Adamson juggles jazz, spoken word, rocksteady beats, big-band croon, sound collage and more into another effective, cinematic potboiler. -- John La Briola

Don Bodin, Greed, Lust and Cloning (Endocrinemusic). Former electronic rocker, soundman and movie-theater janitor Don Bodin debuts with a soundtrack for a film that doesn't exist. Originally conceived as a promotional tool for television and video-game scores, this sonic thrill ride combines crunchy guitars, strings, operatic flourishes and synthesized mayhem into an ominous backdrop worthy of any good sci-fi, action or espionage thriller. Roll over, John Williams. -- La Briola

Camera Obscura, Let's Get Out of This Country (Merge Records). Camera Obscura's latest effort is full of wholesome, tooth-achingly-sweet pop that recalls the 1960s AM-radio sound of Acid House Kings or the Concretes. The kitschy, sunny harmonies and jangly tambourines make this upbeat disc perfect for a jaunt to the ice cream parlor, side by side on bicycles with your latest crush. -- Heather Browne

Chevreuil, Capoeira (Sickroom Records). Chevreuil tears through nine chaotic, Albini-produced tracks of experimental musical mayhem, with samples, analog synths, a "touch guitar" and "magnetic drums." Rarely settling into anything like a melody, hook, riff or groove, the French trio opts instead for sonic freakouts that challenge them as much as their listeners. -- Eryc Eyl

Ice Cube, Laugh Now, Cry Later (Lench Mob Records). Ice Cube is back with his first album in six years, and he's not happy with the way fellow rappers have been carrying the torch in his absence. On Laugh Now, Cry Later, Cube lambastes the current state of hip-hop while still managing to entertain the homies with tight beats and stellar production. -- Brandon Daviet

Christian McBride, Live at Tonic (Ropeadope). Bassist Christian McBride may not be as young of a lion as he once was, but this set shows no signs of age. McBride and his band, supplemented by guest stars such as guitarist Charlie Hunter and DJ Logic, create one rubbery groove after another and keep the bounce going for three high-spirited discs. This Tonic goes down smooth. -- Roberts

Mellowdrone, Box (Red Ink). For the most part, Mellowdrone lives up to its name on its latest disc, with thick shoegazer epics that sludge along on Jonathan Bates's dark, mostly half-spoken lyrics. Elsewhere, the band sorts through vintage '80s goth and gloom pop (think the Cure) with enough modern flare to make Box ideal for that Valium comedown. -- Glenn BurnSilver

 
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