Wilco, Wilco (The Album) (Nonesuch). While Wilco's previous effort, Sky Blue Sky, was, for the most part, recorded live in the studio, Wilco (The Album) is much more layered. There's a lot more instrumentation and a lot more happening on the record, which is as expansive as it is majestic. — Solomon

Wolf Eyes, Always Wrong (Hospital). Greetings from Michigan. Here's a friendly reminder that despite all the sunny, escapist pop we heard this year, things do continue to suck. A lot. This veteran noise trio's groans, scrapes and fuzz blasts made for the perfect soundtrack to unemployment and (still-) endless war. — Smith

The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, It's Blitz! (Interscope). The beauty of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs has always been the band's ability to infuse just enough avant-gardiness into its pop to give you a sense of elitist satisfaction while you dance. In that sense, It's Blitz! is the band's most successful record to date. From the quirky opening synth jangle of "Zero," the disc grabs on to your feet and doesn't let go. — Otte

John Zorn, O'o (Tzadik). O'o follows in the footsteps of 2001's The Gift and last year's Dreamers, two of Zorn's more accessible albums. Considering that it was named after an extinct Hawaiian bird, it's fitting that there are elements of exotica and surf on O'o, which features the same duo as Dreamers, Marc Ribot and Jamie Saft. — Solomon

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