**** Atomic Tangerine
*** Tumbleweed
** Raw Umber
* Cadet Blue


(emperor jones)

Portland/France-based Trumans Water has been an underground favorite for the past ten years, and it's because of their ability to fold in good hooks with an abundance of dissonance. The drilling mass of guitars, drums, and lippy vocals are often grainy with effects, yet just beneath the grit, there's invariably a great, slightly esoteric melody. Their newest album starts out a little weak, however--the songs are heavier on the cacophony, yet that muddies the composition. But by song four, the heavy guitars go from an indiscernible wash to a powerful distortion. By song six--a short ruffian's delight, full of mariachi samples and badass guitar playing--your eyes will water. It's easy to get hooked on this album's thrashy sunniness, because underneath all the guitars, effects, and screaming, this is a great pop album at heart. JULIANNE SHEPHERD

Broken Silence

(Def Jam)

Have you ever seen Foxy Brown? She really is SO FOXY. You should buy this album just for the Playboy-style spread that comes with the liner notes. It begins with Foxy on The Beach, with some tiny little orange spandex shorts clinging to her slightly shiny thighs. On top, she's wearing a kind of stringy, purple, beaded thing, which is very revealing in all the right ways. The next picture is Butch Foxy, where she's wearing an adorable little suit, which happens to be open just enough to show A LOT of cleavage. And now for the best picture, the centerfold: Foxy Goes Victoria Secret. FGVS features Foxy in a silky pink thing, all thighs and breasts. There are three other pictures, but those aren't as hot. And the music's okay too, I guess. It sounds too much like Lauryn Hill, except not as good. But then again, Lauryn isn't as hot. KATIA DUNN

Bridge to the Northern Lights

(Brown Records)

It would be difficult for anyone to describe the sound of Seattle's Aveo without comparing them to The Smiths. Though William Wilson's soft, fluttering vocal style undoubtedly comes from his own, natural interpretation of songwriting, the Morrissey path is often a far too distinct road for bands to forge. You could argue that groups like Smoking Popes have made a career out of Morrissey-esque vocals. Furthermore, the fact that Smoking Popes are Morrissey's "favorite American band," adds a strange twist of legitimacy to the style, inadvertently making "Smiths"-type bands a genre unto themselves. That said, you must look at Aveo from a perspective somewhat incognizant of music history. But considering how many bands sound like the mediocre garbage they plagiarize, it's a relief to hear a group like Aveo skilled enough at the craft of making beautiful rock worthy of such a comparison. JOE FAUSTIN KELLY