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+ Donato Wharton - Body Isolations
+ Svalastog - Woodwork
+ Tim Hecker - Harmony In Ultraviolet
+ Rosy Parlane - Jessamine
+ Jarvis Cocker - The Jarvis Cocker Record
+ Múm - Peel Session
+ Deloris - Ten Lives
+ Minimum Chips - Lady Grey
+ Badly Drawn Boy - Born In The U.K.
+ The Hold Steady - Boys And Girls Together
+ The Blood Brothers - Young Machetes
+ The Places - Songs For Creeps
+ Camille - Le Fil
+ Wolf Eyes - Human Animal
+ Christina Carter - Electrice
+ The Decemberists - The Crane Wife
+ Junior Boys - So This Is Goodbye
+ Various Artists - Musics In The Margin
+ Rafael Toral - Space
+ Bob Dylan - Modern Times
+ Excepter - Alternation
+ Chris Thile - How To Grow A Woman From The Ground
+ Brad Mehldau - Live in Japan
+ M Ward - Post-War
+ Various Artists - Touch 25
+ The Mountain Goats - Get Lonely
+ The White Birch - Come Up For Air
+ Camera Obscura - Let's Get Out of This Country
+ Coachwhips - Double Death
+ Various Artists - Tibetan And Bhutanese Instrumental And Folk Music, Volume 2
+ Giuseppe Ielasi - Giuseppe Ielasi
+ Cex - Actual Fucking
+ Sufjan Stevens - The Avalanche
+ Leafcutter John - The Forest And The Sea
+ Carla Bozulich - Evangelista
+ Barbara Morgenstern - The Grass Is Always Greener
+ Robin Guthrie - Continental
+ Peaches - Impeach My Bush
+ Oakley Hall - Second Guessing
+ Klee - Honeysuckle
+ The Court & Spark - Hearts
+ TV On The Radio - Return To Cookie Mountain
+ Awesome Color - Awesome Color
+ Jenny Wilson - Love And Youth
+ Asobi Seksu - Citrus
+ Marsen Jules - Les Fleurs
+ The Moore Brothers - Murdered By The Moore Brothers
+ Regina Spektor - Begin To Hope
+ The 1900s - Plume Delivery EP
+ Alejandro Escovedo - The Boxing Mirror
+ Function - The Secret Miracle Fountain
+ Sonic Youth - Rather Ripped
+ Loscil - Plume
+ Boris - Pink
+ Deadboy And The Elephantmen - We Are Night Sky
+ Glissandro 70 - Glissandro 70
+ Calexico - Garden Ruin (Review #2)
+ Calexico - Garden Ruin (Review #1)
+ The Flaming Lips - At War With The Mystics
+ The Glass Family - Sleep Inside This Wheel
+ Various Artists - Songs For Sixty Five Roses
+ The Fiery Furnaces - Bitter Tea
+ Motorpsycho - Black Hole/Blank Canvas
+ The Red Krayola - Introduction
+ Metal Hearts - Socialize
+ American Princes - Less And Less
+ Sondre Lerche And The Faces Down Quartet - Duper Sessions
+ Supersilent - 7
+ Band Of Horses - Everything All The Time
+ Dudley Perkins - Expressions
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Girl Interrupted
Beat Club/Interscope

The tendency to pit Ms.Jade against Missy Elliott is sure tempting, even though doing that — easy for the media — is pretty silly, given that they couldn't be more on the same side. Ms.Jade is a Timbaland/Missy protégée, with their big names even adorning the front cover of her debut disc, Girl Interrupted, like some seal of approval from two fabulously-famous benefactors. Particularly, Timbaland has gone out on a limb, here, putting his unmistakable productional stamp on 15 of the 17 cuts served up. Meaning that unlike other recent Timmy "discoveries" like Petey Pablo and Bubba Sparxxx, for whose debuts he only deigned to do a couple cuts, with Ms.Jade you're getting a whole album of his ferocious beats and studiously worked studio-workin'-it. With seeming free rein, Timbaland has done pulled out all the studio stops, wandering wide-eyed into the wilds of beat-cutting experimentation with some sort of manic eagerness. In a year in which he's generally been consigned to the name-to-drop backburner behind market-flooding hip-pop icons The Neptunes (who, needless to say, produce a song on this LP, too), Tim spares no effort on this set, using the freedom of working across-the-board with an unknown artist to rock some seriously freaked-out arrangements that take his signature sounds (gluebuzz bass, rapid tabla-poppin' percussion, and plenty of that stupidly-busy human-beatboxing business) to dizzying ends, with things often getting more hectic than a peak-hour Tokyo train station. While Jade does the music justice with a commanding voice, her patois eerily reminiscent of fellow Philly MC Eve, she's hardly left alone. Timmy and Missy both turn up on the mic, and Jay-Z even drops a verse, and Nate Dogg (the Robert Horry of the hip-hop world) also makes a co-billed turn. More impressively, gnarly-voiced Canadian neo-pop songbird Nelly Furtado follows up her guest spot on the new J5 record, and returns the favor for Timbaland and Ms.Jade's insanely good remix of "Turn Off the Light" by taking a high-profile part in the album's best track, "Ching Ching." Of course, calling out a cut as the pick of the litter, in this company, feels a little foolish, given that you can list a litany of shit herein in which Timmy kicks some mighty beat-makin' ass — "Jade's the Champ," "Big Head," "Count It Off," "Different," etc. But, on the number in which he loops a ba-da-ba-da-ba-ching-ching line from Furtado's "Baby Girl" to inspired ad infinitum, then over the top swaps a couple verses with Jade, then thins the mix to have Nelly sing like some cartoonish parody of Billie Holiday, Timbaland surely authors one of the most lurid musical moments of the year. On one of the best records of the year. On a hip-pop record that dares do without all the skits and filler of the genre, and, in another grand way, never seeks to break its focused mood by doing something as stupid as "switchin' things up." Which, having said all this, is where the desire to compare this out-and-out triumph to Miss E's latest inconsistent disc lingers. With the same release date, these longplaying twins beg to be held alongside each other; upon hearing the jaw-dropping beats and across-the-board substance of Girl Interrupted, that desire is increased tenfold, given that Missy's gonna get all o'those column inches while there's another record of similar (or, point being, greater) quality that's gonna get about a tenth o'that attention, if it's lucky.

by Anthony Carew

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