Something Corporate

North

Geffen/Drive-Thru

Something Corporate inject the modern pop-punk formula of chugging guitars, aw-shucks romanticism and bad high school poetry with enough affecting piano and melancholic lyrics to keep North, the band’s third full-length album, from falling into oblivion.

Backed by a double-guitar attack, lead singer McMahon wails plaintively from behind his piano like Billy Joel’s emo grandson, peppering his tales of puppy love and heartbreak with casual mentions of getting drunk and stoned in his hotel room and conversations with his mother. Sure, his lyrics delve into emo clich�s from time to time, but lines such as “When my mom hears this song / She’ll tell me I’m wrong / She’ll say to me / Son, you’re much too young / Go have some fun” keep them grounded in relevance.

Rating: 3 stars.

– Joel Hoard

Various Artists

Def Jamaica

Def Jam

With reggae going through sporadic bursts of mainstream acceptance, now with Sean Paul at the forefront, Def Jam rushes in to capitalize on the momentum with a new crossover album attempting to fuse dancehall and mainstream hip-hop. Despite a spectacularly lackluster list of names from the hip-hop half, the album works better than it should. The production retains the spirit of the dancehall sound and all artists involved show a love for the reggae native to Jamaica. While some songs get tedious and other collaborations don’t mesh so seamlessly it is an enjoyable listen and a few tracks are legitimately hot.

Rating: 3 stars.

– Hussain Rahim

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