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CDs Nuts 

Last 2 Walk
Three 6 Mafia

Other than the catchy but unoriginal “Trap Boom,” and the valuable advice in “Weed, Blow, Pills” - snorting lines off a wood table can lead to splinters in your nose - this release from the remaining two Mafia members disappoints. Juicy J and DJ Paul make some truly bad choices here (e.g., teaming up with Good Charlotte on "My Own Way," ruining passable UGK collab "On Sum Chrome" by sampling "Carol of the Bells," then criminally failing to sample the School House Rock adverb song on the atrocious single/ringtone “Lolli Lolli (Pop That Body)”).

Modern Guilt
(Interscope Records)

Your sound system will largely determine your enjoyment here. Poorly ripped mp3s and crappy computer speakers render producer Danger Mouse’s sound-wall flat and muddy, but in decent headphones, a high-quality encoding or honest-to-god CD is nothing short of Spector-tacular. The worst music pun ever? Quite probably, but don’t let it distract you from that gorgeous sea of surf guitars and 22nd-century dys/utopia on “Gamma Ray,” or the blending of self-harmonizing and future weapons on “Chemtrails.” This giant mishmash of retro-psychedelia and science-fiction sounds like the Byrds collaborating with the T-1000 from Terminator 2. Beck has probably hastened the robot apocalypse, but he’s made one of the year’s best albums in the process.

Með Suð í Eyrum Við Spilum Endalaust
Sigur Rós
(Beggars XL

The opening track on the latest from those nonsense-singing Icelanders is actually called “Gobbledigook.” Even better, the glorious mesh of staccato acoustic strumming and beautiful childish jibber-jabber is the beginning of a four-song sequence that just might be the highlight of the band’s career so far. “Inní Mér Syngur Vitleysingur” is xylophones and horns making tender love (don’t get distracted figuring out the mechanics for this), ethereal ballad “Góðan Daginn” could soundtrack a Grey’s Anatomy episode guest-directed by Matthew Barney, and Jónsi Birgisson’s gorgeous falsetto work on “Við Spilum Endalaust” is damn near soulful. Sure, the remainder of the album anticlimaxes in the group’s now standard slow-burning formula, but we were always happy with that before, weren’t we?

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February 24, 2021

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