Ryan Dombal rounds up 15 albums hitting stores this week and next
Credit: Fiery Furnaces: Megan Holmes


The Fiery Furnaces, Bitter Tea (Fat Possum)
Impossibly quirky brother-sister indie rockers confound with songs about Vietnamese telephone numbers and checkbook-balancing Mormons.

Elefant, Black Magic Show (Kemado/Hollywood)
Make a left at gloom-rock, pass glam-punk on your right, and finally arrive at this band’s shamelessly derivative sound.

SpankRock, Yo Yo Yo Yo Yo (Big Dada)
Baltimore club music filtered through a stylish hipster prism. Like 2 Live Crew with a hint of head-scratching irony.

Drive-By Truckers, A Blessing and a Curse (New West)
Alt-country stalwarts treat their small-town vignettes with a widescreen, Southern-rock scope.

Various Artists, Exit Music: Songs With Radio Heads (BBE)
Though they’re still a thriving band, Radiohead already have a bevy of diverse covers discs recorded in their honor. This one features reworkings from jazz group the Bad Plus and sample guru RJD2.

The Dresden Dolls, Yes, Virginia… (Roadrunner)
Often caked in face paint, these cabaret revivalists fill their Brechtian tunes with old-time whimsy.

Susanna Hoffs & Matthew Sweet, Under the Covers Vol. 1 (Shout Factory)
The former Bangles frontwoman and the power-pop journeyman turn in a covers record that’s just sweet enough.

AFX, Chosen Lords (Rephlex)
Aphex Twin mastermind Richard D. James employs one of his lesser-known monikers for this CD, but there’s no mistaking his head-spinning electronic touch.

Yungchen Lhamo, Ama (Realworld/Virgin)
On this album, featuring an appearance by Annie Lennox, Tibetan songbird Lhamo soothes with Zen-like clarity.

Karrin Allyson, Footprints (Concord Jazz)
Grammy-nominated jazz vocalist enlists vocalese pioneer Jon Hendricks, among others, to help her set words to classic instrumentals from the ’50s and ’60s.


Bruce Springsteen, We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions (Sony)
The Boss takes on a batch of songs previously sung by folk legend Pete Seeger, with a fresh, freewheeling approach.

Mark Knopfler & Emmylou Harris, All the Roadrunning (Warner Bros.)
The Dire Straits singer-guitarist’s moodiness is buoyed by Harris’ hopeful croon throughout this duets disc.

Secret Machines, Ten Silver Drops (Reprise)
The Pink Floyd-inspired rockers ground their spacey sounds with heavy, heartbreaking lyrics on their sophomore LP.

Taking Back Sunday, Louder Now (Warner Bros.)
Emo faves continue to bring the suburban angst (and well-honed pop hooks) on their major-label debut.

The Streets, The Hardest Way to Make An Easy Living (Vice)
The British rapper spikes his drug- and fame-addled confessions with gonzo observations.