Music for September: Brazilian Girls to Girl Talk

Brazilian Girls, New York City (Verve Forecast). As the title of their art-groovy third album suggests, Brazilian Girls make music for urban spaces: airports, nightclubs, deserted streets. The trio — only one of whom is female, and Italian — are residents of New York City but citizens of the world. There are songs here in four languages, about “St. Petersburg,” “Berlin” and a plethora of cities name-checked in “Internacional.” Riff genius, immaculate drummer and fashion diva: The Girls resemble Blondie more and more every year. And that’s a good thing. — Evelyn McDonnell

Girl Talk, Feed the Animals (Illegal Art). On his fourth album, Gregg “Girl Talk” Gillis, the math-pop master of layered remixes, multiplies his sonic equations to irksome effect. The tracks are too dense for their own good, despite outstanding moments: Avril Lavigne’s abysmal “Girlfriend” is apotheosized into a hip-hop anthem courtesy of Jay-Z’s big pimpin’, and M.I.A.’s politico wail suffuses the Cranberries’ plaintive “Dreams” with spark. The problem here is that Gillis seems a little precious about his gimmick, overheats his laptop and ultimately leaves listeners unable to fully appreciate his ingenious proofs. — Nick Haramis

The Verve, Forth (On Your Own). From the Pixies to the Stooges, rock has reunion fever, and now Britpop’s finest has joined the trend. On Forth, the Verve’s long-awaited fourth album, “Sit And Wonder” evokes the band’s early tribal psychedelia, while “Rather Be” suggests the soulful country-rock of Urban Hymns. “Love Is Noise,” meanwhile, is an anthem that would sound great bouncing off the rafters at Wembley. — Matt Diehl

Theresa Andersson, Hummingbird, Go! (Basin Street Records). If this album sounds homemade, that’s because it was recorded in Theresa Andersson’s kitchen. The Swedish-born, New Orleans-based singer-songwriter plays every instrument on her fourth solo outing — with some help from a loop pedal — accenting her textured tunes with naturalistic sounds (think fizzing soda bottles and buzzing locusts) and her airy alto. Like Feist’s more granola sister, she delicately traverses sentimental territory, cooking up lovely moments (the breezy, violin-flecked “Hi-Low”) and slow-burning songs (“The Waltz”) that slip under the skin and linger. — Brian Orloff

Amanda Palmer, Who Killed Amanda Palmer (Roadrunner Records). It takes resplendent levels of sneering self-possession to label one’s own music “Brechtian.” But the gloriously savage Amanda Palmer and her extravagant Dresden Dolls have persistently lived up to it. On her solo debut, she and her hard-bitten piano take us on another trip through a mine field of emotions backed by the machine gun, Teutonic glam rock she has so rigorously perfected. Yet the ultimate femme incomprise also pauses here for moments of stirring, elegiac beauty and vulnerability. — Ken Scrudato

Solange, SoL-AngeL and The Hadley Street Dreams (Geffen). Solange Knowles’s sophomore album is an intrepid leap out from underneath her big sister’s shadow, a ballsy throwback record that reaches out into the future. The soul-baring opener “God Given Name” could be a lost Zero Seven track, “6 O’Clock Blues” is her winning ride on the Ronson train, and second single “Sandcastle Disco” is a beachy toe-tapper. All this, plus Boards of Canada produce “This Bird,” an intoxicated declaration of independence.— Ben Barna
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