Spoon, Kill the Moonlight: This will undoubtedly rank among my favorite five albums of the year. It's like these guys have reinvented rock and roll all over again. For more of my thoughts on this record, go here. The album comes out later this month.

The Flaming Lips, Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots: It's not The Soft Bulletin -- in a number of ways. It doesn't have the same gravity, the same intense personal anthems, the same substance. When Wayne Coyne tries to be profound here, it often comes across as treacly and trite. The album doesn't always maintain the same awesome balance with its canned orchestras and overdriven drums as the previous record. The conceptual stuff is silly and half-baked. All that said, this is a fuckin' great album, and I think a lot of people who have panned it might see that were they not judging it by the gold standard of The Soft Bulletin. It's catchy, it's strange, it's psychedelic, it's moving. It's not a classic, but it's very good nonetheless.

Songs Ohia, Didn't It Rain: I didn't know Songs: Ohia before I came to Epitonic, and since I've been here I've appreciated Jason Molina's music but never listened to it much. But this, his newest album, is really fabulous. Great melodies, lots of beautifully rendered anguish, paeans to urban life, intimate confessions, all delivered in a really appealing warm and loose stlye. Molina's voice has never sounded more affecting.

Mouse on Mars, Idiology: An incredible blend of headphone electronics and traditional orchestration. Something about the combination of chopped jittery beats and horns and strings really grabs me. Sometimes really lovely, sometimes really peculiar, totally entrancing.

Blur, The Great Escape: One of my favorite albums since it came out, I've been wearing out this CD again lately. I'm always amazed by how many things they try in the course of an album. Their pop experiments aren't always completely successful (witness 13), but on this record I think they got damn close to making the perfect eclectic pop album.