The People's Key
After various other projects, Conor Oberst returns to his main gig as Bright Eyes mastermind. But his vision for his alt-folk outfit isn't as sharp as on previous efforts. The people expect more.
Let England Shake
The British alt-rocker recorded her latest in a 19th-century church in Dorset, England. Still, she's no choirgirl: Harvey, remaining an acquired taste, shakes things up with her quirky mysteriousness.
His parents may be British folk-rock icons Richard and Linda Thompson, but this singer-songwriter sounds more like Roy Orbison's scion on retro charmers such as "Take Me Back Again."
Keeping the synth-pop pleasures coming, these mates even hark back to fellow Aussies Men at Work on "Take Me Over." You'll forgive them the 15(!)-minute closer.