Hannah Fury, Through the Gash (MellowTraumatic Recordings). Hannah Fury's last full-length effort was a musical adaptation of Wicked that was way ahead of the Broadway musical. On this long-awaited followup, her wispy, spooky songs of love, life and loss play like Gothic ghost tales from another time. The lush, dense orchestrations simultaneously lift Fury's ethereal voice toward the sun and drag it down to earth. — Eryc Eyl
Life Without Buildings, Live at the Annandale Hotel (Absolutely Kosher). A jittery Glasgow band that broke up before it could blow up, Life Without Buildings is gone but not forgotten thanks to Live, which captures the group in 2002, around the time of its demise. Not that the players sound like they were on their last legs. Sue Tompkins and company are wonderfully exuberant, bidding an enthusiastic crowd a fond farewell. — Roberts
Bill Medley,Damn Near Righteous (Westlake). After four decades of crooning blue-eyed soul, former Righteous Brother Bill Medley's voice has taken on a gravelly tone. It serves him well, though, through Damn Near's blues-based rockers, classic soul sendups, funky get-downs and tender ballads. Medley even ropes in Brian Wilson and Phil Everly for extra texture on "In My Room." — Glenn BurnSilver
Oscar Peterson & Friends, Swiss Radio Days, Vol. 16 (TCB). Swiss Radio Days is made up of vintage Peterson performances taken from a 1953 date in Lausanne, Switzerland, with the Jazz at the Philharmonic band, including Barney Kessel, Lester Young and Gene Krupa. The pianist, who was 28 at the time, was in fine form romping through Ellington's "C-Jam Blues" and "Cottontail," then slowing it down on "Dark Eyes." — Jon Solomon
Sons of Azrael, The Conjuration of Vengeance (Iron Clad/Metal Blade). Taking a mash of grindcore, death metal and old-school thrash packed with machine-gun riffs, brutal leads and terrorizing, effects-riddled vocals plucked from the bowels of the earth, the Sons of Azrael turn speed, hate and anger into a brick-bashing assault on anything that stands before them. Move over. — Glenn BurnSilver
Various Artists, Four Decades of Folk Rock: The Return of the Mystery Tramp (Time Life). The title makes this four-CD boxed set sound like the sort of tedious rehash sold on late-night TV, but it's far better than that. Early discs reach beyond the expected classics to embrace the likes of Tim Buckley and Fairport Convention; the latter ones encompass everyone from X and the Pogues to Mazzy Star and Uncle Tupelo. — Roberts
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