Reviews of new records from Smith Westerns and Mavis Staples

By Clark Collis and Ray Rahman
Updated June 21, 2013 at 04:00 AM EDT

Smith Westerns, Soft Will
The young Chicago rockers once again plunder British rock history — Beatles, Bowie, Blur — for their third set, which finds them steadily getting better at it. The quietly splendid Soft unspools an effortless mix of sleepy glam (”Best Friend”) and swooning pop (”3AM Spiritual”). B+Ray Rahman

Mavis Staples, One True Vine
The soul legend continues her late-career streak with Vine — produced, like 2010’s Grammy-winning You Are Not Alone, by Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy. He provides many nicely spare showcases for her silken vocals, but a recast of the Staple Singers’ ”I Like the Things About Me” is a notably copacetic marriage of joyous singing and jagged guitar solos. A-Clark Collis