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CD Revue 

Fiona Apple, My Morning Jacket, Franz Ferdinand ...

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**** Dead Horse *** Solstice ** Slickrock * Budweiser

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FIONA APPLE Extraordinary Machine ****nn

Six (!) years after her last album, Fiona Apple’s back with 12 stunning songs rendering every other female artist in modern pop irrelevant'except maybe Nellie McKay, whom she seems to be channeling on the kooky title track. Get it, now. (Fiona-Apple.com)

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BASTARD SONS OF JOHNNY CASH Mile Markers ****

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Even more so than previous releases, the Bastard Sons’ perfect third album is so country it should only be sold on 8-track in truck stops. Mile Markers also somehow brings songs about ol’ California back from the passé brink, a major trick in itself. (BSOJC.com)

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WEEDS Soundtrack ****

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Besides Malvina Reynolds’ loopy theme song (“Little Boxes”), Showtime’s pot-comedy’s soundtrack has a hipster roster of Nellie McKay, New Pornographers, Sons & Daughters, Sufjan Stevens, Mountain Goats and more. Take that, O.C. (Rykodisc.com)

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MY MORNING JACKET Z ***

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After a sleepy opener that makes an argument for My Morning Jacket as the world’s best Manfred Mann’s Earth Band (look it up) tribute act, Z gets down to rock & roll business, reverberating about like the Shins on a ’70s FM radio bender. (MyMorningJacket.com)

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SHERYL CROW Wildflower ***

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Even she’ll admit 2002’s C’mon C’mon was a Pop-Tart stain on a pristine discography, so now Sheryl Crow’s gone dark ‘n’ downbeat'like the best of her debut over 10 years ago. And if “Good is Good” isn’t a George Harrison cover … (SherylCrow.com)

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FRANZ FERDINAND You Could Have It So Much Better ***

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Sick of “Take Me Out”? Join the club, then get You Could Have It So Much Better, a follow-up that lives up to its name and tops their new-New-Wave debut. You’ve already heard “Do You Want To” on The O.C.'ain’t that enough? (FranzFerdinand.tv)

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LIZ PHAIR Somebody’s Miracle **

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Now that she’s over Avril Lavigne (remember her?), ex-indie queen Liz Phair wants to be the new … Jewel? The estro-soggy, made-to-be-a-Kate-Hudson-romantic-comedy-cut “Everything to Me” and the rest here suggest we may need a new Liz. (LizPhair.com)

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PUSSYCAT DOLLS PCD *

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So, you’re actually supposed to listen to them? Without looking at them? Minus the gyrations and G-strings, the Pussycat Dolls are about as musical as a yeast infection. PCD isn’t even good strip-club bump'uh, how is that possible? (PussycatDolls.com)

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