Cut Copy, Haiku from Zero (Astralwerks)
Cut Copy, Haiku from Zero
— Of all the full-ensemble dance bands like Hot Chip and !!!, Australia’s Cut Copy is the most inconsistent, veering from inspired to flat. Luckily, the band makes the new album its most energetic to date, by taking a lesson from Melbourne cohorts Architecture in Helsinki: When in doubt, be absurd and joyful. Tracks like “No Fixed Destination” burst with that joy.
Foo Fighters, Concrete and Gold (RCA)
Foo Fighters, Concrete and Gold
— Dave Grohl has become the century’s most beloved rock curator, but he rarely veers far from formula on a Foo Fighters album. The band’s ninth outing dabbles in acoustics and vocal tricks on tracks like “T-Shirt” and “The Sky Is a Neighborhood,” yet for the most part, it stays loyal to Foo Fighters’ roots, and fans will love the familiarity.
The Clientele, Music for the Age of Miracles (Merge)
The Clientele, Music for the Age of Miracles
— London’s The Clientele have always aimed for a mix of baroque-pop and psychedelia, but for their first album in seven years, lyricist Alasdair MacLean would cringe (or perhaps cheer) to hear that it comes off sounding like early Moody Blues. Tracks like “Lunar Days” and the final title song should convince even hipsters that this is not necessarily a bad thing.