Arctic Monkeys
“Crying Lightning”
Warner Bros.

3 out of 5 stars

On the lead single from Arctic Monkeys’s forthcoming album Humbug, there is little stylistic deviation from what made these Brits overnight superstars. “Crying Lightning” acts as musical cement, solidifying what we as listeners have come to expect — and ultimately enjoy — from this band. Frontman Alex Turner is a lyrical wordsmith, who has time and time again befuddled listeners with his puzzling phrasing and fast-paced diction. Guitar parts oscillate and intersect to invoke an evil carnival, while Turner plays the hair-brained ringleader.

The Dodos
“Fables”
Frenchkiss

4 out of 5 stars

For The Dodos, 2008’s Visiter was an absolute smash of an album. It vaulted the San Francisco duo from relative obscurity to full-fledged critical darlings. The first single off their upcoming sophmore effort Time To Die displays a much more polished, focused sound. Meric Long’s signature strummed guitar is coupled with a bare-bones reggaeton beat. An increased focus is put on Long’s vocals, signifying a potential step away from the cacophonous elements that made Visiter so pleasing. If this is The Dodos’s attempt to appeal to the masses, they should keep up the good work.

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