**** Leprechaun V: Leprechaun in the Hood
*** Leprechaun II: One Wedding and a Lot of Funerals
** Leprechaun IV: Leprechaun in Space
* Leprechaun


Wave Motion

This is a totally chill, instrumental hiphop CD, good for sitting around having a drink but not feeling like a cheeseball. That's because the music, while being chill deejay music, still has a level of sophistication which makes it interesting, progressive, and challenging. While I do think that the name "Fat Jon the Ample Soul Physician" is particularly ridiculous, I guess it's okay to be outlandish when you have the kind of cred that FJTASP has--he's worked on one project or another with artists like Rakim, Black Starr, Mood, and Hieroglyphics. There are a lot of trippy, fun clips of girls' voices involved, as well as layers of sliding, trumpety sounds. But most importantly, nothing gets out of control here, due to the album's very tame, controlled, and elegant beats. KATIA DUNN


Nu Bop
(Thirsty Ear)

It was put best by Jefre Cantu-Ledesma, guitarist from Tarentel: "Matthew Shipp makes me want to jump out of my skin." Though Matthew Shipp is a jazz pianist, the gait of his hands is magical enough that, as he crosses the boundaries of modern music, he pulls listeners of all kinds along with him. His last record, New Orbit, was hailed by many as the album that would transcend all limitations and give music physicality--yes, Matthew Shipp was the savior, maybe. So what of Nu Bop? Here, where Shipp excels is on tracks such as "Select Mode 2"--full of palpable passion--and "ZX-1," "Nu Abstract," and "D's Choice," where he connects the dots between modern classical and jazz with a fervent atonality. As always, Shipp sounds purposeful in his non-composition, never wanking for too long or losing the imperative rhythmic abnormalities that twinkle off his fingertips. Bassist William Parker and drummer Guillermo E. Brown shine, as well, with skilled solos both hinging and loosening Shipp's lavishness. However, though the album is pretty incredible by all musical terms, certain drum-machine beats and melodies sound slightly worn, or too "in the box," which is exactly what Shipp is trying to combat. The savior could do a little better, I think. JULIANNE SHEPHERD


Fuck with Fire
(No Idea Records)

Planes Mistaken for Stars comes from the emo Id. For example, I'm alone in the office right now, and I keep hearing someone creeping around, and the Planes aren't helping because I could very easily picture someone stabbing me to death with this music screaming in the background. The lyrics are barbaric explosions, with the guitar characteristically changing and building from contemplative plucking to a psychotic fit of inhuman speed. Then, methodically, at the end of each song, they pull back the anger and slow to a perfect lull. KATIE SHIMER