Yeah Yeah Yeahs / It’s Blitz! / Universal
The best tracks on the latest album from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs come with suspiciously boring sounding titles, like “Zero” and “Dull Life.” Beware however; these tracks are anything but dull. The driving beats and intense reverb hardwired into the production of the album put the listener right in the centre of a Yeah Yeah Yeahs show, live from a small club venue. One can almost see the dazzling light show or Nick Zinner’s frenetic heavily delayed guitar playing. It’s a dance party in there.
Various Artists / War Child Presents: Heroes / Astralwerks
All profits made by this very special compilation go towards benefiting children affected by war in countries like Afghanistan, Sudan, Uganda and Ethiopia. As if this wasn’t already a good enough reason to check out this album, the substantial list of A-List acts contributing to the stellar tracklist more than sweeten the deal. Some of the biggest names in music over the past four decades – luminaries like Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney, Bruce Springsteen, Brian Wilson and David Bowie – chose one of their own classic tracks and nominated a next generation artist to cover the song on the album.
Covers on the album range from spot-on faithful recreations like The Hold Steady’s cover of the Boss’s “Atlantic City” to completely reinvented masterpieces like Hot Chip’s synthed-up version of Joy Division’s “Transmission.” Brit divas Lily Allen, Duffy, and Estelle all provide gems and, on the closing track, TV on The Radio do something very special with Bowie’s “Heroes,” though it may take a couple listens for one to wrap their head around it.