Critical 10: Fall 2012 Album Releases
What to listen to as the leaves fall.
1. Bob Dylan -- Tempest (out September 11)
Dylan's 35th studio album in 50 years features an impossibly ugly sleeve design, but the Tom Waits-meets-Rev. Gary Davis vibe of first single "Duquesne Whistle" promises something interesting inside.
2. St. Vincent and David Byrne -- Love This Giant (out September 11)
There's something about this collaboration that makes us think "Yes, of course." Annie Clark's spiky guitar and appealingly twisty melodic sense make Byrne sound more animated than he has since Speaking In Tongues.
3. The XX -- Coexist (out September 11)
British indie electronic trio make a good case for being their generation's answer to Portishead on their second album. But does it bother anyone else that they didn't call it Coexxist?
4. Grizzly Bear -- Shields (out September 18)
The all-important follow-up to 2009's breakthrough Veckatimest promises more gloriously-arranged indie songcraft. And if opening track "Sleeping Ute" is any indication, further proof that shit-hot drummer Christopher Bear is the band's secret weapon.
5. Flying Lotus -- Until the Quiet Comes (out October 2)
Flying Lotus promises his latest Warp Records set was inspired by African drumming and lucid dreaming. We're in. Features guest spots by regular collaborators Erykah Badu, Thundercat and Thom Yorke alongside his usual singers Niki Randa and Laura Darlington.
6. The Mountain Goats -- Transcendental Youth (out October 2)
John Darnielle's signature blend of dark character studies set to uplifting melodies is in full effect on the latest Mountain Goats set. The horn section is a new (and welcome!) addition, though.
7. AC Newman -- Shut Down the Streets (out October 9)
The New Pornographers leader ponders the circle of life on an album informed by the death of his father and birth of his son. If the gorgeous lead track "I'm Not Talking" is any indication, it's going to be among Newman's best.
8. Bat For Lashes -- The Haunted Man (out October 15)
British art rock chanteuse Natasha Khan's long-awaited third album sounds as stripped-down and strange as its already infamous cover shot of a nude Khan wearing a naked man like a feather boa.
9. Tracey Thorn -- Tinsel and Lights (out October 29)
Self-admitted Christmas fangirl Thorn makes her first holiday album, mixing originals and covers with a seasonal flair. Husband Ben Watt joins her musically for the first time since they ended Everything But the Girl.
10. Graham Parker and the Rumour -- Three Chords Good (out November 20)
Reuniting with the full lineup of The Rumour for the first time since 1979's Squeezing Out Sparks, Parker goes back to his slash-and-burn pub rock roots with songs like the inflammatory "Coathangers." Check out the reunited band in a climactic scene of Judd Apatow's This Is 40 in December.