Album Reviews: Is it worth the download?

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Steve Earle and the Dukes

'So You Wannabe An Outlaw'

Warner Bros.

Release date: June 16

Genre: Rock, country, folk

Review: Steve Earle bills his new album as the philosophical heir to "Guitar Town," and the DNA connecting it to that landmark 1986 record can't be missed. Texas-born and Nashville-raised, at least musically, Earle reconnects with his roots in all the best ways. The journey back is as good as anything he's put out in a decade or more. Earle is backed on the album once again by the Dukes, the rocking little combo that supported much of his best work and delivers in fine form here. Miranda Lambert, Willie Nelson and Johnny Bush make appealing cameos.

Earle at his best rocks intensely, fearlessly confronts inner demons and wears his heart on the outside. This album, full of flaming arrows from a seemingly limitless quiver, does it all with gusto.



Fleet Foxes

'Crack-Up'

Nonesuch Records

Release date: June 16

Genre: Indie folk-rock

Review: Fleet Foxes' "Crack-Up" doesn't just grab your attention — it gives the senses a full-body massage.

Produced by leader Robin Pecknold and Skyler Skjelset, who appears on all 11 tracks but one, the band's third album isn't far removed from 2011 predecessor "Helplessness Blues," although the shades are more varied here, the hues deeper, the in-song transitions multiplied, the themes wider and the arrangements both more precious and adventurous. Current events also have their place and the title cut and album closer reacts to the fake news phenomena. The array of instruments beyond the horns and strings is so extensive that you feel some elements more than hear them. Rewarding, involving and meticulous, "Crack-Up" has been well worth the wait.




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