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Sean Daly's CD picks: Collectors edition evokes nostalgia for the Lemonheads

The Lemonheads

Album: It's a Shame About Ray: Collector's Edition

In stores: Now

Why we care: Sixteen years later, this jangle-pop gem from Evan Dando and his Boston band of misfits remains a bittersweet charmer. It's been souped up with bonus tracks, DVD, epic liner notes, the works. And yet, the early-'90s time capsule still plays like a small, hazy-day rumination on heart and heroin, love and loss.

Why we like it: The relationship between the predatory Dando and virginal bandmate Juliana Hatfield adds a fascinating dynamic. She longs for him, and he longs for him, too. Evan was a disaster, but man, could he write a hook.

Reminds us of: When Bruce Springsteen recently dished about the contents of his iPod, Dando made the cut. Time for a comeback?

Download these: My Drug Buddy and Kitchen

Grade: A

Norah Jones, Cat Power

Album: My Blueberry Nights: Music From the Motion Picture (EMI)

In stores: Tuesday

Why we care: In her big-screen debut, singer Norah Jones filmed parts of quirky drama My Blueberry Nights in Earnestine & Hazel's, a brothel-turned-bar in Memphis. Having spent many hours in that ghost-infested establishment, I can assure you that the rootsy, bluesy songs on this soundtrack perfectly capture the vibe of that notorious juke joint.

Why we like it: Jones, indie queen Cat Power and R&B icons Ruth Brown, Mavis Staples and Otis Redding contribute classics. Twang trust Ry Cooder provides the spooky-cool score.

Reminds us of: One heck of a mix-tape — and a darn good hangover cure, as well.

Download these: Brown's Looking Back and Staples' Eyes on the Prize

Grade: A

Kylie Minogue

Album: X (Capitol/Astralwerks)

In stores: Tuesday

Why we care: We don't care as much as the rest of the world, which cherishes this wee Australian as a sillier, sexier Madonna. This album is yet another bid to recapture the fleeting U.S. fame she had with such hits as The Loco-Motion (1987) and Can't Get You Out of My Head (2001).

Why we like it: The likable 39-year-old blends Vargas-girl cheek with bubbleheaded electropop, a substance-free romp meant for cruise-ship dance clubs and MTV UK. Why hasn't she made it over here? Not sure. But it might be because we like our blond pop ditzes to be skankier offstage than on. Just a guess.

Reminds us of: Kylie will perform the song All I See on Tuesday's Dancing With the Stars.

Download this: Heart Beat Rock

Grade: C+

SONG OF THE WEEK

The Kills

Song: Cheap and Cheerful

Album: Midnight Boom (Domino)

In stores: Now

Why we care: This London-based duo is driven by the switchblade wiles of singer Alison "VV" Mosshart and the head-butting grace of guitarist Jamie "Hotel" Hince. They're getting more press for Hince's love life (he's dating Kate Moss). But they deserve columns of praise for their brash beats, taunting choruses and total disregard for law and order.

Why we like it: "I want you to be crazy, 'cause you're stupid, baby, when you're safe." Since they teamed up in 2000, Mosshart, originally from Florida, and Hince have become indie faves, mainly by getting in the face of fans. This rumbler is no exception, seemingly built on the sounds of smoker's cough, firecrackers and taking a baseball bat to the neighbor's mailbox.

Reminds us of: Natural Born Killers: the Musical

Grade: A-

Sean Daly's CD picks: Collectors edition evokes nostalgia for the Lemonheads 03/29/08 [Last modified: Saturday, March 29, 2008 6:00am]
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