Coheed and Cambria Good Apollo I'm Burning Star IV, Volume One: From Fear Through the Eyes of Madness (Sony)
Rock epic. There is no other phrase that can describe what Coheed and Cambria has accomplished in every album they've released. Good Apollo listens like a classic novel reads. It introduces you into Coheed's world and keeps you there. Intrigued, captivated, blown away by the arena-rock riffs. Yes, arena rock. Coheed and Cambria leaves nothing behind, and with a title like Good Apollo ... how could they? This album is big, it's loud and it's far from simple. It's even got cheerleaders for crying out loud! Oh, and Claudio Sanchez has the voice of a rock god.
Gorillaz Demon Days (Virgin Records)
The Gorillaz did it again. They produced another single that gets stuck in my head and never, ever goes away. The sad thing is I like "Feel Good, Inc." It's got a good beat and some clever singing. The lyrics are still nothing special, but the song makes me dance in my seat (I admit it!). With "Feel Good, Inc." the standards for the rest of the album are set. Not too high, but set. I bought the album, ready to dance my way down the street, but, alas, I'm left sitting like a sack of potatoes. Buy the single.
Our Lady Peace Healthy in Paranoid Times (Columbia)
Canada's alt.rock poster boys are back with their sixth release, Healthy in Paranoid Times. Since their first release in 1994, Our Lady Peace has been offering fiery, politically-charged rock in every album. Healthy has a decent helping, as long as you know where to look. Songs like "Will the Future Blame Us" and "The World on a String" are (quite obviously) about world politics today. "Al Genina (Leave the Light On)" sounds like a typical oh-baby-I-miss-you-so-much love song unless you know the band's history with organizations like War Child. A quick Google search can give further clues to a curious listener—Al Genina is a refugee camp in Darfur. Healthy is more produced and not as experimental as past OLP albums, but the fire is still there—I promise.