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Lungs by Florence + the Machine

Lungs by Florence + the Machine (2009)
This debut album from the eccentric British pop singer Florence Welch is not only mesmerizing but it is also a lot of fun.  Welsh’s elegant voice stands out on this record amid the building crescendos of frenzied percussion. With tracks like “You’ve Got the Love” and the “Dog Days are Over,” you won’t be able to resist dancing. This is a perfect album for the summer.

Check out a review of the album.

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Brand New Eyes by Paramore

Brand New Eyes by Paramore (2009)
Great CD! Great beats, catchy songs, and Hayley’s voice rocks. Singles include “Ignorance,” “Brick by Boring Brick,” “The Only Exception,” and “Careful.”

Check out reviews from Spin and Billboard. Last week, Paramore won the People's Choice Award for favorite rock band. And after the group recently announced some personnel changes, they spoke with MTV about the subject of most of the songs on Brand New Eyes.
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Volume One by She & Him

Volume One by She & Him (2008)
The multidimensional Zooey Deschanel impresses once again at the “She” half of this duo (“Him” is M. Ward). Perhaps better known as an actress from films including (500) Days of Summer and Elf, Deschanel showcases her songwriting and singing abilities on Volume One. Likened to early 1960s pop, this indie rock album is a delight to listen to in the car or on a lazy afternoon. Check out “I was made for you,” “Black Hole,” “Sweet Darlin’,” and “Why do you let me stay here?” (see video below).

Check out the duo's website for news, music and more. Wait! There's more -- Volume Two was released earlier this year.

Fearless Love by Melissa Etheridge

Fearless Love by Melissa Etheridge (2010)
I have been a fan of Etheridge for a long time and with her 10th studio album, she returns to her rock and roll roots offering pounding rock out tunes to light ballads. Her music is all about the song and sharing her stories of personal and social experiences. The struggle between fear and love is a theme throughout each song. I think this is her hardest-rocking album yet and have my favorites including "Nervous," "Fearless Love," "The Wanting of You" and "Miss California."

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After Robots by BLK JKS

After Robots by BLK JKS (2009)
A South African band influenced by western rock/pop music, BLK JKS (pronounced Black Jacks) has tribal and modern influences and sings in four different languages (including English). The group has been compared to everyone from The Cure to Ladysmith Black Mambazo.

Check out reviews in The Guardian, Pop Matters, and Billboard.com.
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Songs for You, Truths for Me by James Morrison

Songs for You, Truths for Me by James Morrison (2008)
After seeing Morrison in concert at Tivoli (in Copenhagen), I wanted to hear more from this talented British singer. Songs for You, Truths for Me follows his successful debut album Undiscovered. His sophomore album includes hit singles “Please Don’t Stop the Rain” and “Broken Strings” (featuring Nelly Furtado).

Great music to listen to on a CD in your car or live in the pouring rain (which I did).

Visit Morrison’s website to listen to his albums and read a review from Daily Music Guide.
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We Started Nothing by The Ting Tings

We Started Nothing by The Ting Tings (2008)We Started Nothing is the debut album from the English rock duo The Ting Tings. The album dance/pop style catch songs have you shaking your booty and singing along for countless hours. Popular songs on this album include “Shut Up and Let Me Go” and “That’s Not My Name” -- both singles charted very well on Billboard charts.

We Started Nothing spawned four singles: Fruit Machine, Great DJ, Shut Up and Let Me Go, and That’s Not My Name. The Ting Tings are currently working on there next studio album, which will hopefully be released in 2010.

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Offend Maggie

Offend Maggie by Deerhoof (2008)
Deerhoof is a weird, challenging, and passionate band with a real knack for catchy melodies. They sound like jazz/punk fusion with a toddler on lead vocals.

Offend Maggie is their newest and best album. Read other reviews of the CD.
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Riot! by Paramore

Riot! by Paramore (2007)
Paramore’s second studio album Riot is a breath of fresh air to today’s music scene. Lead singer Hayley Williams gets you pumped up, making you wanting more after each song. Paramore became increasing popular with the release of “Misery Business” – the song reached #3 on U.S. Billboard Hot Modern Rock Tracks. Songs from Riot! are featured on Guitar Hero and Rock Band. The album was certified Platinum in the U.S. & the U.K. 
Paramore will release their third studio album – Brand New Eyes – before the end of the year.

Check out this acoustic performance of Paramore's hit single "Hallelujah."

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Return of Saturn by No Doubt

Return of Saturn by No Doubt (2000)
Return of Saturn is No Doubt's fourth studio and follow up album to their massive breakthrough hit Tragic Kingdom. The album sound is a bit of a departure, though it does keep the band’s ska & reggae influences. There are many great songs that invite you into Stefani's world of love, distrust, and wanting children. Return of Saturn spawned four singles: “New,” “Ex-Girlfriend,” “Simple Kind of Life,” and “Bathwater.” Visit No Doubt's site for music and videos.
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U.S.A.-U.K. by 7th Heaven

U.S.A.-U.K. by 7th Heaven (2008)
7th Heaven is a local rock band known for their 30 songs in 30 minute pop/rock medleys, fun and energetic stage presence, and variety of music for all audiences. Their latest CD titled U.S.A.-U.K. includes “Better This Way,” “Gravity,” and the song heard during the Chicago Cubs commercials “This Summers Gonna Last for Ever.” My favorites are what I call the rock ballads: “Gave You My Word” and “Still Be Here."

If you get a chance to see them live at a local fest this summer, you’ll hear a few of their songs, a 30-minute medley and other classic rock and recent hit songs from Metro Station to Journey and sometimes Neil Diamond. Look for them at the Concert in the Park in Darien on Wednesday, July 8 at 7:00 -- also check out a list of their other local appearances (including one tonight at 6:00 in Downers Grove).
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Tragic Kingdom by No Doubt

Tragic Kingdom by No Doubt (1995)
Tragic Kingdom is No Doubt's third studio album and the most popular album of the band’s career. This album dished many massive hits including the band’s most popular song “Don't Speak.” No Doubt appeared on the scene with the song “Just a Girl” empowering ladies everywhere. “Spiderwebs” was released shortly after, increasing the bands popularity and introducing a ska/pop mix to the music scene. Their massive hit “Don't Speak” introduces the growing tension of the band and of Gwen and Tony's failed relationship.

Tragic Kingdom spawned an incredible seven singles! Some didn't chart as well, but the band made music videos for six out the seven singles. The singles include the songs mentioned earlier, plus “Excuse Me Mr.,” “Happy Now?,” “Sunday Morning,” and “Hey You!” Listen to songs and find out more about the album on the official website.

No Doubt will be touring this summer. Catch them in Chicago on July 11! If you want to catch their first concert in 5 years, tune into The Today Show on Friday, May 1.
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Rock Steady by No Doubt

Rock Steady by No Doubt (2001)
No Doubt’s fifth studio album is absolutely one of the best albums I’ve heard in a long time. Many agree that Rock Steady was a smash from their previous album Return of Saturn (2000). As a result of much collaboration, Rock Steady touches on many musical styles. Grammy-winning hits “Hey Baby” and “Underneath it All” can still be heard on most radio stations today. Every track on this album is superb; Gwen and the boys really did an excellent job. No Doubt will be touring in 2009 as well as releasing their next highly anticipated album (check their website for updates).

Rock Steady had four singles: “Hey Baby,” “Hella Good,” “Underneath It All,” and “Running.” Sly & Robbie, The Neptunes, Prince, and William Orbit were among the many artists No Doubt collaborated with on the album.

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Bleed Like Me by Garbage

Bleed Like Me by Garbage (2005)
Garbage’s fourth studio album Bleed Like Me very much shows that Manson and the boys can still rock. As soon as I picked up this album a week ago, it’s been playing nonstop in my iTunes. Some of the gem songs on the album include “Bleed Like Me” and “Why Don’t You Come Over” because of their ability to catch you right away. Manson’s sweet voice along with awesome guitar riffs makes this album an instant classic to any collection.

Bleed Like Me includes contributions from drummer Matt Walker (Filter, The Smashing Pumpkins) and bassist Justin Meldal-Johnsen (Ima Robot, Beck, Nine Inch Nails).
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