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Summer album recap

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The Spectrum

Summer album recap

By ARTS DESK

Iron Maiden – The Final Frontier

After over three decades in the business, Iron Maiden is still one of the hardest-rocking metal bands around. The album features the classic Maiden sound mixed with influences from younger acts like The Mars Volta, and the Dillinger Escape Plan. It proves that Iron Maiden can adapt to new styles without giving up what made them great in the first place.

John Mellencamp – No Better Than This

Trading in his usual heartland-rock sound for a more folk/country feel, Mellencamp has created one of the most memorable albums of his career. T-Bone Burnett's immaculate production gives the album a pastoral feel, reminiscent of early Johnny Cash records. Tracks like "Save Some Time To Dream" and the depression-themed lament "No One Cares About Me" show that for all Mellencamp's fame and fortune, he has not lost touch with the common man.

Big Boi- Sir Luscious Leftfoot: The Son Of Chico Dusty

Throughout his tenure in Outkast, Big Boi has been looked upon as a second banana: the straight man to Andre 3000's eccentric genius. He sheds that perception forever on his debut solo album, a triumph of genre-bending creativity. Funky numbers like "Daddy Fat Sax" and lead single "Shutterbugg" show that as Big Boi approaches his 40s, he is full of the same ingenuity and artistic spirit that brought Outkast so much success over the past 15 years. This will be a strong contender for hip-hop album of the year.

The Gaslight Anthem- American Slang

The best thing to come out of New Jersey in recent times delivers its third studio album in four years. Brian Fallon may have cut back on the metaphors but the lyrics are just as deep and meaningful as ever. Alex Rosamilia continues to be one of the most underrated guitarists out there; his soulful licks are more definitive than ever on American Slang.

Nas and Damien Marley- Distant Relatives

Combine Nas's politically charged flow and Damien Marley's reggae-infused hip-hop and the resulting aftermath is every pot smoker's wet dream. The two create a sound that will have the listener grooving out and raising a fist in resistance at the same time. This is one album you can't miss.

Against Me! - White Crosses

The punk scene is one of the toughest for a band to survive in, but over the past decade Tom Gabel has made Against Me! one of the biggest acts in punk music. Sure, the band is no longer singing about being mad at the government or the widening wealth gap, but maturity in a band is a good thing. White Crosses proves that Against Me! has matured a great deal.

AM Taxi- We Don't Stand A Chance

After two EP's, AM Taxi released their first full length and showed that they're more than capable of holding their own. Leading off with standard form songs like "Fed Up" and "The Mistake," the album then progresses into more loose-ended, open form lyrics. With lead singer Adam Krier's rusty voice, the group has the sound to back their lyrics and fit into the punk world.

3oh!3- Streets of Gold

When "Want" hit the airwaves and 30h!3's popularity skyrocketed, many fans feared for the worst. With newfound fame comes newfound pressure to craft an album geared toward making top 20 charts. Fortunately, the Boulder-bred duo has stayed true to their roots and produced an album that is inherently what fans have come to expect and love. Well, with the exception of "My First Kiss."



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