Music: Amazing Baby, White Rabbits, Major Lazer

Amazing Baby Rewild (Shangri-La) – Maybe it’s because their songs owe a great debt to the Stone Roses and Frank Zappa, or perhaps it’s because all five of them have long, messy hair, but Amazing Baby, the Brooklyn-based heirs apparent to MGMT, have been pigeonholed as “drugged-out nudist hippies” — even before the release of their debut album. Rewild is, however, a major acid trip down psych-pop lane, flitting between synthesizers and traditional instruments, a playfully (and deliberately) regressive bathtub brew of escapist melodies. On tracks like “Bayonets” and “Kankra,” one gets the sense that these babies are moving one step forward, and two steps back — in the best way possible. — Bryan Levandowski

White Rabbits It’s Frightening (TBD) – Had it been mere narrative, It’s Frightening might be little more than Poe manqué — each song a tale steeped in mystery, suspense and somber reflection. Instead, the sophomore record from Brooklyn’s indie half-dozen delivers a polished cinematic sound, probing the depths of melodrama that made their debut effort a striking success. The curtains open on “Percussion Gun,” a skins-heavy track that beats like a telltale heart and triggers the erratic pace of an album that wanders through frenzied peaks (“Lionesse”) and morose valleys (“Midnight and I”). The wizardry of Spoon vocalist and album producer Britt Daniel is most salient on the slowbuilding pop piece, “They Done Wrong/We Done Wrong.” Ultimately, though, the lurking left-hand piano and rasping melodic vocals are the anchors that lend It’s Frightening a sound far more haunted than any whodunit tome. — William Kangas

The Sounds Crossing the Rubicon (Original Signal)– On their third studio album, Crossing The Rubicon, the Sounds have, at last, evolved theirs, building upon and honing — at times even discarding — their lip-glossy punk-pop, flirting with beat-driven synth-dance. While staying true to their quirky, infectious sound, the Swedish quintet abruptly dips beneath their disaffected cool posturing, embracing introspective verse and dreamy love-song melodies. The percussive charm pounded out on “Beatbox” is more addictive than an IKEA commercial, and on “Lost in Love,” when lead siren Maja Ivarsson howls, “I believe in this fire burning inside of me,” we finally do, too. — Eiseley Tauginas

The Lemonheads Varshons (The End) – The Lemonheads’ covers album — sampling from acts as diverse as Gram Parsons and Christina Aguilera — will finally see the light of day just in time for the seasonal puckerstand rush. On rainy-day ballads heavy with comfy-country guitars and Evan Dando’s ’90s heartthrob languor, clouds quickly clear to make room for energizing electronic guitars and electro-bass beats. Kate Moss croons over the chords of “Dirty Robot” and Liv Tyler sings the breathy vocals on “Hey, That’s No Way to Say Goodbye,” a mellow and dark affair that prepares fans for the album closer, an eerie rendition of Xtina’s “Beautiful.” — Nadeska Alexis

The Revolution Revolution (Rapster) – If you’re going to name your musical project the Revolution and your debut album Revolution, then you’d better hope that your music is, well, pretty fucking great. But even though Norman Cook (Fatboy Slim), James Lavelle (UNKLE) and Róisín Murphy, among others, gathered enough Cuban rappers, singers and horn players to fill a social club, the collaborative sonic fusion seems more at home on a Dirty Dancing spin-off than in Buena Vista. Even one of the album’s stronger tracks, “Yellow Moon,” turns Murphy’s gorgeous voice into Geri Halliwell–inspired, ticky-tacky exoticism. It might make you move, but, despite up-tempo salsa tricked-out with some laptop shenanigans, Revolution ain’t exactly radical. — Ben Barna

Jarvis Cocker Further Complications (Rough Trade) – Recognizing that la vie Parisienne might jeopardize his reign as the gray, existential conscience of modern Blighty, our beloved Jarvis Cocker has negotiated his new geography by journeying into Anglo-Teutonic territory. Produced by sonic skull-crusher Steve Albini, the brilliantly blustery Further Complications is magnificent in its unflagging homage to ’70s Bowie: the spiky title track is almost dead-on “Watch That Man,” while the frenzied “Homewrecker!” is the best (not) “Suffragette City” cover ever — torrid sax and all. And even though the thin white bloke’s lyrical observations eschew some of the visceral minutiae for snark, somehow it’s all unmistakably Jarvis. — Ken Scrudato

Major Lazer Guns Don’t Kill People … Lazers Do (Downtown) – What do you get when you pair a Philly-based DJ with a penchant for dinosaurs and a British producer whose pseudonym was once changed from Solid Groove to Switch? Why, a zombie-fighting Jamaican cartoon commando with lasers for limbs and an uncanny way with futuristic-dancehall blazers, of course. As their breathtakingly kinetic alterpersona, Major Lazer, master-mixers Diplo (Wesley Pentz) and Switch (Dave Taylor) — with backing from the louche larynxes of Santigold and Amanda Blank — lay down a Jimmy Spliff, er, Cliff-indebted aural bacchanal. “Mary Jane,” “Pon De Floor” and “I’ll Make Ya” are raucous patois party-starters guaranteed to get all of the Jessica Rabbits on the floor hopping. — Nick Haramis

Latest in Music

Music

BlackBook Premiere: Rozzi’s ‘Orange Skies’ is a Hymn to the Tragedy of the California Wildfires

Music

alexa BlackBook: Fluid Notions: Face to Face with John Cameron Mitchell and Shamir

Music

alexa BlackBook: Casey Spooner Sings About One-Night Stands and Open Relationships on his New Album

Music

alexa BlackBook: Alison Mosshart, Don Lemon, Matthew Modine, Nia Vardalos, Leslie Odom Jr. & More Tell Us Their Christmas Wish Lists

Music

Japanese Rock Star Yoshiki Makes His Classical Debut at Carnegie Hall

Music

Lady Gaga Goes Full-Rodeo in New Single ‘A-Yo’

Music

Mad Decent’s LIZ Unveils Exclusive Mix Tape and Fashion Shoot

Music

DNCE’s ‘Body Moves’ Video Features Lots of Skin and Sweat (Watch)