Album Drop: The Latest From The Black Eyed Peas, Sonic Youth, Mos Def, And The Dirty Projectors

It’s new release Tuesday, so it’s time to take the latest tunes for a spin. This week, the Black Eyed Peas pack a punch, Sonic Youth prove they’re young at heart, The Dirty Projectors clean up their act, Mos Def gets us ecstatic, and the Low Anthem takes folk higher.

Black Eyed Peas, The E.N.D. (Energy Never Dies)
By now, you’ve bumped your lady lumps to their hit single “Boom Boom Pow.” But how’s the rest of the record? Club-tastic. Working with artists like MSTRKRFT, Fergie and the gang’s fifth record has only pumped up their brand of hip pop into the electronica realms of wannabe Daft Punkers. While it falls short of that greatness, the bounce in tracks like “Imma Be” and “Rockin To The Beat” will have you dancing like a goof ball, and loving it.

Sonic Youth, The Eternal
If you’re looking for the baddest mofo female rocker, look no further than Sonic Youth’s Kim Gordon. At 56, she slammin’ and still rockin’ out the electric guitar headbanger anthems like “Sacred Trickster.” Oh yeah, her husband/bandmate Thurston Moore is totally awesome, too. Their deadpan vocals, screeching guitar, and drone drums will have you feeling anything but jaded. Their last album, Rather Ripped, was one of their meandering sound experiments, but The Eternal has them back with biting rock songs ala Daydream Nation that your can really sink your teeth into.

Mos Def, The Ecstatic
This record is more than funky fluff that’ll make your get down til the break of dawn. The first song “Super Magic” samples Malcolm X. “Casa Bey” brings back the ’70s brass euphoria, and it’s snazzier than the theme to the “Price Is Right.” And your head will be nodding along to Mos and Slick Rick’s “Auditorium,” a call for Americans to step up their game. Finally, the revolution has its jams! We’ll be dancin’ in the streets 2009 style.

Dirty Projectors, Bitte Orca
This Brooklyn band proves that there is, in fact, strength in numbers. Not only do they seem to keep getting better from record to record, the six-piece play off each other so well, you wish they’d orchestrate an orgy. No one gets lost in shuffle—it’s a collective that creates clear and simple, cool tracks out of string instruments. Bitte Orca is quite possibly the perfect record for lying in the grass this summer.

The Low Anthem, Oh My God Charlie Darwin
This debut album has a split personality. Half the songs, like “To Ohio,” will have you wondering if folksy Simon and Garfunkel ever had a baby with the Shins. We hope these entrancing harmonies and poignant points will inspire Zach Braff to make another movie, cause The Low Anthem has already created his dream soundtrack. But these boys are not total wusses, the other half of the record is Modest Mouse meets Tom Waits-style drinking songs like “Home I’ll Never Be.” So when your luck has run out, and you’re not sure if you want to swig beer with vagrants or pull the covers up over your head, you can reach for this record.