- Keane - Under the Iron SeaUnlike U2, Keane is unique in that the piano--not the guitar--is the band's primary mode of rocking. Singer Tom Chaplin's clean vocals bring to mind other Brit rockers. In UTIS, the group writes smarter-than-average catchy pop songs such as "Crystal Ball" and "Hamburg Song" with its beautiful piano and vocals.
- My Brightest Diamond - Bring Me the Workhorse
Bring Me The Workhorse courageously gathers all the essential elements of classical and pop to create an album that breaks down the barriers of both worlds. Imagine Jeff Buckley vocal's meeting with Sonic Youth's guitars-drums-n-bass filled with great arrangements' orchestration of the string quartet.
Subtitulo may be Rouse's finest hour. Imagine some of Paul Simon's more vanilla solo work with the attitude of Jack Jonson thrown in and you're half way there. The songs here take the listener back to 70's AM radio when music was still being played with regularity. Check out "Quiet Town" (which may resemble Teitur's guitar playing).
While the songs are undeniably beautiful and even fun, the music provides a vital balance to the album's substantial thematic heft, and it's that combination that makes Let's Get Out Of This Country one of the year's best pop albums. (Slant Magazine). Check out "Lloyd, I'm Ready To Be Heartbroken"
Written, performed and produced entirely by Laswell, Through Toledo is a lovely slice of adult-ish pop. Heavy on melancholy but also hooky and melodic and able to range from delicacy to rocking out without ever sounding forced or overwhelming Laswell's emotive, weary rasp.
For the dozen songs featured the New Jersey quartet blends themes, tempos and numbers that rely heavily on both pop sensibilities and electronic atmosphere into a rather pleasing debut full-length.
While The Trials of Van Occupanther may never be more than a cult favorite, those seeking to till peculiarly American musical soil will undoubtedly reap a rewarding and plentiful harvest. (ShakingThrough.net)
Beautiful songs one and all, there’s much to recommend "Eye To The Telescope", and given enough time and patience, Tunstall’s subtle charm seeps through making it an album to love. (Dot Music)
- The Kooks - Inside in, Inside OutThe band's great strength is its surging rhythm section, which tilts the songs twoard the dance floor and brings freshness and oomph to chord progressions and tunes we've been hearing since... 1966 and 1977. (Entertainment Weekly)
- Jeremy Enigk - World WaitsWhile World may be missing the top-hatted theatrics of today's Billboard prancers, Enigk's quiet talent--and pedigree--earns him a closer listen. His vocals here are as translucent as ever. (Entertainment Weekly).
- Maritime - We The Vehicles
The songs are mature but not boring; nicely layered but not overproduced; well executed but not sterile. (Alternative Press). The songwriting is strong enough and the arrangements appealing enough that We the Vehicles has a quiet pop charm all its own. (All Music Guide)
- Muse - Black Holes and Revelations
Revelations is Muse's best work yet primarily because of the fluid balance it keeps between excess and restraint. Consolidates and amplifies everything they've done up to now. (Alternative Press)
- Damien Rice - 9There are not as many revelations as on Rice's acclaimed 2002 debut, "O," but it still can be sonically thrilling. (LA Times). Rice seeks 24/7 momentousness here. (SPIN)
- Snow Patrol - Eyes OpenSnow Patrol are poised to eclipse Coldplay as pop's greatest anthem-makers (The Guardian). Eyes Open is composed of broad, obvious songs with broad, obvious hooks, aimed straight for the hearts of as many people as the band can manage. All of this would be bad, horrible even, if it didn't work. But it does. (Stylus Magazine)