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Editor's Pick of New Releases, December 2009

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Mike Diver Mike Diver | 11:33 UK time, Wednesday, 13 January 2010

December, traditionally something of a barren month for quality new album releases, was true to form last year. ("Last year"... feels strange saying that still, doesn't it.) Here are six long-players (okay, four and a pair of EPs) worth spending any leftover vouchers on, though. All come recommended by the BBC Music reviews team.

Yes, we know it's the middle of the month and this entry should perhaps have run several days ago. To you, we say: read this best-of-the-year list. It took up quite a bit of our time.

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rsz_etienne_jaumet.jpg Étienne Jaumet - Night Music
(Versatile Records, released 7 December)
"Night Music is a sonic triumph, each drum machine thump and vintage sequencer sounding like they don't have a hair out of place. It is one of the finest examples of the revival of the 'kosmische' micro-genre of recent times, up there with Lindstrøm's acclaimed 2008 album Where You Go I Go Too."
Read the full review

Étienne Jaumet - Entropy (audio only)
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rsz_mr_chop.jpgMr Chop - For Pete's Sake
(Five Day Weekend, released 7 December)
"Powered by breakbeats and bent out of shape by jowly basslines, wobbling between left and right speakers like the 70s funk and rare groove that Chop sounds like he was schooled on, this irresistible instrumental platter is sure to make you swagger some."
Read the full review

Mr Chop - T.R.O.Y. (audio only)
- - -

rsz_war_paint.jpgWarpaint - Exquisite Corpse
(Manimal Vinyl, released 7 December)
"The band's sound will appeal effortlessly to anyone swept up in the understated splendour of The xx's silence-celebrating compositions - just like the young Londoners, Warpaint respect the balance between stirring (yet soothing) sounds and their surrounding stillness."
Read the full review

Warpaint - Billie Holiday (audio only)
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rsz_animal_collective.jpgAnimal Collective - Fall Be Kind
(Domino, released 14 December)
"While obviously the work of the same men who shaped Merriweather into such a brilliantly boisterous, bamboozling and beautiful collection of future-pop anthems, this is a standalone affair that requires recognition based on its own merits."
Read the full review

Animal Collective - What Would I Want? Sky (BBC Session Version)
- - -

rsz_paul_mc.jpgPaul McCartney - Good Evening New York City
(Hear Music, released 14 December)
"Always incredibly hard-working, McCartney never relents here - his patter isn't cool, but it absolutely doesn't matter, as he could turn up and play on a washboard and it'd still be worth 20 quid. Good Evening... is a wonderful souvenir for those who were there or who've seen his tour over the last few months."
Read the full review

Paul McCartney - Band on the Run (live at Citi Field, New York)
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rsz_alicia_keys.jpgAlicia Keys - The Element of Freedom
(J Records, released 14 December)
"Keys has explained that this, her fourth album, is "a dichotomy of strength and vulnerability". It certainly showcases her willingness to experiment while ruminating on longing and falling for a wrong 'un."
Read the full review

Alicia Keys - Doesn't Mean Anything
- - -

Hungry for more? Check out new albums by The Brian Setzer Orchestra, Snoop Dogg, Nikolaus Harnoncourt's take on Porgy and Bess, Badly Drawn Boy and Chris Wood, all given the thumbs up from the BBC Music reviews team.



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