(As published in the Times of Acadiana ... )
Weakerthans: Reconstruction Site (Epitaph). You know a clever pop-rock album’s a keeper when its Derrida song isn’t pretentious and its song sung by a cat is no dog.
White Stripes: Elephant (Third Man/V2). An refreshingly light take on notoriously heavy music.
Lucinda Williams: World Without Tears (Lost Highway). Stark, bluesy, raw; comfort for the afflicted, affliction for the comfortable.
World Party! (Music for Little People). Multi-cultural (even global) content, with polyrhythms and singing a touch too homogeneous to give Boney M a run for its money.
Yo La Tengo: Today Is the Day! (Matador). Three from 2002, two (really good ones) from 1999, a live one from 2000, twenty-three minutes in length; the EP is dead, long live the EP.