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New Music For May 12 2009: Meat Puppets, Utada, Office

What to Download: New Music Today

Tuesdays are big in entertainmentville: not only do all the new DVD releases hit Netflix, but new music also pours into stores. So I take a spin through each week's music releases and pick out some albums and tracks worthy of a download.

First, a heads-up that editors have picked out 50 albums that you can download for $5 each! The list includes many of my recent download selections, including new albums from Ida Maria and Metric! Now, onto today's picks:

Remember these guys? I was just talking about how I used to listen to Meat Puppets back in high school along with other favorites like Pearl Jam. This group's 12th studio album is out today, and I think this reviewer sums up its sound nicely: "Across 12 rambling, charming, gently psychedelic tracks of alt-country, the Puppets reassert themselves as an act whose work is rarely grandiose or revelatory but a low-key treat best enjoyed casually on the porch with a beer in hand." I'm digging "I'm Not Into You" and "Rotten Shame."

Global star: If you haven't heard of Utada, get ready for that to change. She is a megasuperstar in Japan who has broken almost all of the country's album sales records. Even more impressive? She's talented as a songwriter and producer, too, not just a performer. Her new album is packed with ear-pleasing pop tunes that are sometimes reminiscent of Mariah Carey. Check out "Come Back to Me," "Poppin'," and "This One (Crying Like a Child)."

One more up next, so


Chicago indie: Office is a Chicago-based indie band that formed in 2000. Sometimes the group sounds like Modest Mouse, while other times Office's poppy and danceable melodies remind me more of Franz Ferdinand. What I've heard of this new album (which the band is giving away for free) is terrific, and I'll definitely be adding it to my iPod. Check out "Trainwreck DJs" and "Nobody Knows You."

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