Determining the No. 1 album for this month's installment of Napster's Rock Roundup was a no-brainer: The Beach Boys' Smile Sessions box set. The five-disc package compiles the recordings for the band's lost masterpiece, which was supposed to have come out in 1967 and turn the band into the high princes of psychedelic art-pop. As for other archival releases that charted, there's an expanded edition of Achtung Baby, U2's 1992 foray into electronic-tinged club rock, and Sting's 25 Years collection, a meticulous overview of his post- Police career.
If modern rock is what you're craving, the past month saw plenty of that, too. Probably the most high-profile release was Jane's Addiction's The Great Escape Artist; the band's newfound art-rock sound doesn't feel far removed from the Radiohead zone, in all honesty. Be sure to also check out new jams from Evanescence, New Found Glory, Thrice and Mayday Parade.
Those of you who actually track release dates will notice that an album released in the fall of 2010 sits in the No. 2 slot: Anika. I had never heard, or heard of, the German-English chanteuse before Moogfest 2011, which I attended just a few weeks back. She was so wondrous and cool that I felt compelled to share my discovery with you. Her debut album for the Stones Throw label is excellent. Do give it a spin.