Spoon Transference (Amazon)
When a band puts out a great album like Spoon did in 2007 with Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga, following it up can be tricky because the bar has been set so high. On first listen, Transference sounds a little bit more raw and less polished than its predecessor -- the band produced this one themselves and chose to go with the original demo versions of some of the tracks. One of my favorite things about Spoon is the way they work with layers in their music, adding elements and subtracting them in a subtle way so that each time you listen to one of their tracks you discover something new. Transference promises more of this, plus Britt Daniels unique voice and more of the same fun and simple grooves that we've come to know and love from Spoon. You can stream the album from the band's official website. May I also recommending checking out what the experts at Pitchfork have to say?
Hawksley Workman Meat (Amazon)
This is the first of two albums Hawksley Workman is putting out in 2010. The second album, Milk will be released digitally over the next five months.
Motion City Soundtrack My Dinosaur Life (Amazon)
The fourth studio album from pop punk rawkers Motion City Soundtrack, My Dinosaur Life is their first release on a major label (Columbia). The band worked with producer Mark Hoppus (the bass player from Blink 182) on this one.
Cold War Kids Behave Yourself [EP] (Amazon)
Technically Behave Yourself is not a new release because it's been available digitally on iTunes since December. But for those of you who want to actually get your hands on a real live piece of vinyl, now you can.
Eels End Times (Amazon)
The eight album from Eels, End Times has largely been recorded on a four-track recorder and is based on the themes of broken love and frontman E's divorce. Three album tracks -- "Little Bird", "In My Younger Days", and "A Line in the Dirt" -- were made available as music videos or promotional downloads prior to the release of the album. (Kudos: wikipedia)