Picks and Pans Main: Music

updated 04/25/2011 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 04/25/2011 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Foo Fighters

Wasting Light |

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ROCK

Foo Fighters have been making rocking albums for so long-since 1995's self-titled debut, to be exact-that it's easy to take them for granted. Their seventh studio effort, recorded on analog tape in Dave Grohl's garage, is a bang-you-upside-your-head reminder that these dudes can still rage. Indeed, blistering tracks like first single "Rope," already a No. 1 rock hit, burn with undiminished intensity. Things can get downright metallic on cuts like the white-hot "White Limo," on which Grohl unleashes a guttural yell that may scare sensitive ears. Perhaps the spark comes from guitarist Pat Smear, who last played on 1997's The Colour and the Shape, officially returning to the Foo fold. Whatever the reason, by the end of the soaring closer "Walk," you will be convinced that this band has truly learned to fly.

Alison Krauss & Union Station

Paper Airplane |

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COUNTRY

After racking up six more Grammys with Robert Plant-bringing her female-record total to 26-Alison Krauss reunites with Union Station for their sixth studio album together. While Paper Airplane doesn't break any new ground, it's a smooth ride aboard the bluegrass train. Soothing-if sometimes a little too sleepy-tunes like "Dimming of the Day" shimmer softly.

TV on the Radio

Nine Types of Light |

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ALT-ROCK

"Every lover on a mission/Shift your known position/Into the light," sings Tunde Adebimpe in his best falsetto croon on "Second Song," which is actually the first cut on TV on the Radio's fourth album. If that sounds a little mystical, well, that's all part of the dreamy psychedelia that makes this a groovy trip. There's a woozy romanticism to slow-burners like "Keep Your Heart" and "Will Do." Elsewhere, they bring a synth-pop pulsation to "No Future Shock," which finds TVOTR making like Talking Heads.

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