October 26, 2012 at 04:00 AM EDT

Neil Young & Crazy Horse, Psychedelic Pill

Young and his sometime sidemen’s 11th album in 43 years(!) lives up to its title: Psychedelic Pill allows pretty, haunted melodies like ”She’s Always Dancing” to seep into the gaps between the jagged solos. The two versions of the title track pulse and swirl with equal intensity, and the 27-minute noise dream ”Drifting Back” blends folk, blues, and thrilling left-hand turns into one sprawling distillation of Young’s entire zag-when-he-should-zig career. A-Kyle Anderson

Kendrick Lamar, good kid, mAAd city

This Dr. Dre-endorsed phenom delivers on the promise of his rabidly beloved mixtape Section.80. His major-label debut contains even more deep hooks, without diminishing Lamar’s knack for riding humming beats with his surreal interior narratives. A-Kyle Anderson

Paul Banks, Banks

Rest easy, wheel — you’re in a reinvention-free zone here. The Interpol frontman continues to plumb familiar post-punk depths on his second solo effort. But OGs (original goths) need not despair; he’s still an undisputed expert at cannily spinning his joy-divided spiderwebs. B+Ray Rahman

….And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead, Lost Songs

The arty Austin punks have a rep as some of the underground’s hardest-working heroes — and some of the loudest. While their eighth effort brings back the feral guitar blasts that defined the band’s sonic youth, Lost also leans heavily on lyrical agitprop. Luckily, that melodic wall of noise crashes through the more heavy-handed moments. B+Ray Rahman

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