NEON TREES' 'PICTURE SHOW' AND OTHER NEW RX CD RECOMMENDATIONS

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Fans of this Utah synth-rock outfit’s ultra-catchy 2010 hit “Animal” will find much to appreciate about Neon Trees‘ sophomore album Picture Show, which leads with a half-dozen hook bombs right in a row, including the insistent “Everybody Talks” and the crisply propulsive “Teenage Sounds.”

The latter’s title gets at the jumpy new wave vibe of Picture Show. As the band did on its debut, Neon Trees expertly maps the territory separating the Killers, the Strokes and Franz Ferdinand here. Things soften a bit during the album’s second half: The lumpy “Trust,” for instance, wears out its welcome long before the jam section that carries it beyond the six-minute mark, while “Hooray for Hollywood” sports an ill-advised spoken-word passage that recalls Madonna’s “Vogue.”

Still, Neon Trees flex some impressive songcraft here. Picture Show should end up as one the year’s most tuneful rock releases. — Billboard

OTHER NEW CD RECOMMENDATIONS:

Dry the River Shallow Bed
Hank Williams III Long Gone Daddy
Jason Mraz Love is a Four Letter Word
Bob Marley and the Wailers Marley: Original Soundtrack
Maps & Atlases Beware and Be Grateful
Jack Johnson and Friends Best of Kokua Festival 2012
Grinderman Grinderman 2 Rmx
Dragonforce The Power Within
Battles Dross Glop
Horse Feathers Cynic’s New Year
Janis Joplin Pearl Sessions
Spiritualized Sweet Heart Sweet Light
Dar Williams In the Time of Gods
Train California 37
Yann Tiersen Skyline

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