TRIVIA: Before his 2008 death, Heath Ledger directed a video for the groups viciously rambling track King Rat.
STANDOUTS: Isaac Brock shouts almost every third line of Satellite Skin, a tinderbox of a song.
FANS DIG: Flannel
ANDY SAYS: Great as this group is, Modest Mouse sometimes lets its albums get a bit bloated. The band sidesteps that problem on this lean and aggressive EP, a collection of songs written during sessions for its past two studio albums. Every bit of skewed pop here hits its mark.
Owl City Ocean Eyes
WHY CARE: This album settled in on the iTunes top 20 after its digital release on July 14, despite the lack of a radio hit.
TRIVIA: The song Fireflies was released on iTunes as a free single of the week, attracting 650,000 downloads.
STANDOUTS: If you missed out on that free download, give Fireflies a chance. The dreamy midtempo song features lightning bugs that give dance lessons.
FANS DIG: Ben Gibbard
ANDY SAYS: Its a surprise it has taken this long for someone to stone cold rip-off the Postal Services diary-ready take on synth-pop. But here it is, Owl City, the solo project of Minnesotan Adam Young. And you know what? Its not that bad. Sure, it lacks a little magic, but Young makes up for his shortfalls with clever lyrics and polished hooks.
Andy Rathbun: 425-339-3455, firstname.lastname@example.org
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