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Albums: July 22, 2011

Reviews of the latest from Sublime, Ricky Skaggs, and more

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Sublime with Rome, Yours Truly
Fifteen years after frontman Bradley Nowell died of a heroin overdose, the Long Beach ska punks have a new singer (Rome Ramirez), a more melodic, mellow bounce — and a lot less edge. ”PCH” sounds like someone taught Jack Johnson how to skank. B-Melissa Maerz

Kasey Chambers, Little Bird
Chambers may be Australian, but her sixth album is pure Nashville, with dusty guitars and back-porch banjos rambling over gravel paths of insistent ramshackle percussion. Her buttery twang drives jams like ”Devil on Your Back” off into gloriously hooky sunsets. A-Kyle Anderson

Eleanor Friedberger, Last Summer
The Fiery Furnaces frontwoman steps out with a set of handsome art-pop songs full of last-call keyboards and references to insidery New York City locales. Summer could use more hooks, but who else is writing about Owl’s Head Park? BMikael Wood

Ricky Skaggs, Country Hits Bluegrass Style
In 2008, this country vet helped the Raconteurs bluegrass-ify their ”Old Enough,” and here he does the same thing to 14 of his own hits, including ”Heartbroke” and ”Cajun Moon.” The gorgeous result is like roots music squared. BMW

Portugal. The Man, In the Mountain in the Cloud
Though they share their Alaskan hometown with the Palin clan, Portugal. The Man’s major-label debut is pleasingly progressive, bathing twisting guitar riffs in psychedelic suds. The overproduced misfires are easily balanced by gutsy trips like ”So American” and ”Senseless.” BKA

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