Mini music reviews -- Some brief thoughts of new albums by Billy Ray Cyrus, Lady Sovereign, Junior Boys, and more

By EW Staff
Updated April 03, 2009 at 04:00 AM EDT

Mini music reviews

Lady Sovereign
Pop (Midget/EMI)
The female face of U.K. grime goes pop on her sophomore disc, singing as much as rapping and, in ”So Human,” jacking the groove from ”Close to Me” by the Cure. B-Mikael Wood

Billy Ray Cyrus
Back to Tennessee
Country (Walt Disney/Lyric Street)
Who is Cyrus 17 years after ”Achy Breaky Heart”? Depending on the track, a poor man’s Jason Aldean, Kenny Chesney, Trace Adkins, or Neil Diamond. D+Mandi Bierly

The Thermals
Now We Can See
Alt-Rock (Kill Rock Stars)
This pop-punk band manages to make death sound chirpy on its fourth album. With perky melodies and singsong choruses, angst has rarely sounded so precious. B+Jeremy Medina

Junior Boys
Begone Dull Care
Electronic (Domino)
A new album means more romantic whispers and languorous synth beats. Both ingredients are bountiful on the Canadian duo’s third full-length. A-SVL

Bat for Lashes
Two Suns
Alt-Rock (Astralwerks)
2007’s fantastical Fur and Gold introduced us to Natasha Kahn and her loopy, mystical Kate Bush-on-mescaline aesthetic. Suns is slightly less immediate, but the Brit’s floaty vocals and pagan-princess themes still bewitch. BLG

Rap (Capitol)
The rapper behind 2007’s party anthem ”This Is Why I’m Hot” returns with more heat for the dance floor. BMargeaux Watson

Bob Mould
Life and Times
Alt-Rock (Anti-)
Mould addresses the years he spent playing a downward spiraler, gay-club cruiser, and spotlight needer, then gets back to his best role: just being Bob Mould. BMelissa Maerz

The Felice Brothers
Yonder Is the Clock
Rock (Team Love)
The fourth album from these purveyors of Band-evoking Americana is as folksy and honed as a tale by Mark Twain, from whom the Felices borrowed the title. A-CC