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Picks and Pans Review: Recent Raves

updated 08/24/2009 at 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 08/24/2009 01:00AM

>GEORGE STRAIT Twang Like a well-worn pair of cowboy boots, the country veteran brings a warm, comforting familiarity to his latest effort. He touches the nostalgic heart on the lilting highlight "Where Have I Been All My Life."

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BAND OF SKULLS Baby Darling Doll Face Honey Meet the best new British rock band since Arctic Monkeys. On their awesome debut, they evoke the Monkeys, Kings of Leon and, in some moodier moments, Radiohead.

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GLORIANA Gloriana This new coed country quartet appears destined for glory. With matchbox twenty producer Matt Serletic at the helm, there's a rock edge to some cuts, while others bring to mind a twangier version of Fleetwood Mac.

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THE DEAD WEATHER Horehound As if it weren't enough with the White Stripes and the Raconteurs, Jack White (on drums and vocals) continues to amaze with his third band. Raw, psychedelic grooves and loaded lyrics make this a crafty classic.

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