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Fast reviews of recent releases

 DL Incognito, Organic Music for a Digital World (UrbNet Records). Canadian rapper DL Incognito brings a style reminiscent of mid-'90s New York hip-hop. Songs like "Welcome," "Newera" and "Keep It Movin'" sound like unreleased material from Big L, AZ and Jay-Z -- which isn't a bad thing. After a while, though, the novelty wears off, and you'll be looking for something else. -- Salazar-Moreno

Form of Rocket, Men (Sick Room Records). Silly, sinister, fierce and funny, this Utah foursome makes math rock for dyslexics and schizophrenics. Occasional glimpses of melody and structure keep the lines on the road, but they're not enough to keep the speeding motorcycle from careering -- horribly, beautifully and exhilaratingly -- off the rocky cliff. -- Eryc Eyl

Jerry Lee Lewis, Last Man Standing (Artists First). During his recent Letterman appearance, the Killer looked like The Lord of the Rings' Gollum: scary, ancient, hunched over. Fortunately, he's propped up here by lotsa stars who just need one name (Mick, Neil, Bruce, Eric, Willie and so on). The results are silly, sloppy and livelier than expected from a guy who can only stand with assistance. -- Roberts

Monica, The Makings of Me (J Records). R&B chanteuse Monica, who was all of fourteen when her 1995 debut launched, is grown up now, as the almost-topless shot on Makings' cover proves. But with only a few exceptions, the numbers here are mature in an unwelcome way; her quiet storms fail to generate enough precipitation to get anyone wet. -- Roberts

Weather Report, Forecast: Tomorrow (Columbia/Legacy). Jazz purists gasped when Wayne Shorter and Joe Zawinul formed Weather Report. That same finicky bunch marveled, however, at the fusion the pair churned out over fifteen years. Highlights of that output, plus rare, unreleased material, make up this three-CD, single-DVD boxed set. The latter is a smoking live show from 1978 featuring Jaco Pastorius. -- Glenn BurnSilver

Wednesday 13, Fang Bang (Rykodisc). With amusingly juvenile death puns like "Morgue Than Words" and "Buried With Children," it's hard to go wrong. But Wednesday 13 runs its morbid musings into the ground with enough repetition that the songs pack about as much punch as Warrant's "Cherry Pie." Meaty yet crunchy metal punk hits the spot, but hair-band vocals put the nail in the coffin. -- Rick Skidmore

The Whitest Boy Alive, Dreams (Bubbles Records). Reversing his recent trend toward elaborate chill-out-room beats, Erland Oye (Kings of Convenience) has switched gears instrumentally, creating a record of spare, fuzzy indie rock. If House of Love had more atmospheric intensity, it would have produced something like Dreams, where cotton-cloud bass lines lumber around Oye's walking-dream croon. -- Sawyer

 
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