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Handsome Furs

Sound Kapital (SubPop)

“Sound Kapital” is the third album from the wife-and-husband team of Alexei Perry and Dan Boeckner, the latter also being the front man of the currently-on-hiatus Montreal indie-rock band Wolf Parade. From 2007’s “Plague Park” to 2009’s “Face Control” to “Sound Kapital,” the duo have moved steadily from guitar-and-drums to an electro-pop model.

So though the band has discussed how “Sound Kapital” — which comes packaged in an NSFW album cover, not suitable for a daily newspaper — was affected by being recorded while traveling in Asia, that hasn’t resulted in any far-flung exoticism creeping into their straight-ahead sound.

Instead, it means the album was recorded entirely on the fly on synthesizers and drum machines, and the duo have absorbed the influence of shiny-surfaced Japanese and Korean pop. Snappy, super-tight song structures and Boeckner’s rough-cut voice don’t blend naturally, but the distancing effects created in alienated Gary Numan-esque pleas like “What About Us?” and the homesick “When I Get Back” are effectively executed.

Dan DeLuca, The Philadelphia Inquirer

Luke Bryan

Tailgates & Tanlines (Capitol Records Nashville)

Nearly every photo of Luke Bryan shows him flashing a bright smile, and at his best, his music captures the easy-going personality that makes the Georgia native as appealing as the sing-along party songs he favors.

Recently voted top new artist by fans during the Academy of Country Music Awards, Bryan kicked his career in gear over the last year with a couple of back-to-back No. 1 hits. Along the way, he has cultivated a reputation as a good-time guy known for upbeat tunes, even releasing a series of EPs with “spring break” in the titles.

With “Tailgates & Tanlines,” Bryan proves once again he can get a party started. But he still needs to prove he can communicate the nuances of what happens when the party is over. Michael McCall, Associated Press

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