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The Inbox

The Inbox: Jimi Hendrix, Rhye, Ashley Monroe and More

by Rob Harvilla

The Inbox: Jimi Hendrix, Rhye, Ashley Monroe and More


Welcome to The Inbox, a recurring feature in which we take a spin through the week's hottest new releases (along with a bit of Napster's own reviews) and pair each album with the weirdest, coolest, (sometimes unintentionally) funniest stuff we can find on the Internet. From old favorites (Jimi Hendrix!) to new favorites (Rhye!) to new projects from old favorites (How to Destroy Angels!), this week's new albums offer it all, and compel us to revisit great Chappelle's Show skits and a dog gif or two. Enjoy.

Best Androgynous, Insanely Erotic R&B for When You Finally Tire of Just Playing This Video Over and Over:

Rhye, Woman
Flecked with pinpoint bass and guitar riffs, and fleshed out with silky falsetto, their debut album takes Sade's smooth operations as its primary inspiration, but its unassuming airs and studied hush find common ground with contemporaries like The xx, Inc. and How to Dress Well. [Philip Sherburne]

Best Hidden Gems from a Dearly Departed Artist So Posthumously Prolific That, Like Tupac, He Might Not Actually Be Dead:

Jimi Hendrix, People, Hell & Angels
Most of this stuff has been kicking around in one form or another for several decades now. The bulk of it dates from 1968 and '69, around the time The Experience were imploding and Jimi's next outfit, Band of Gypsys, were coming together. If you've already worn out his official albums, then definitely take the plunge. [Jimi Hendrix]

Best Sad, Wry, Fiesty Trailer-Park Jams for Those of You Still Hopelessly in Love With Dolly Parton:

Ashley Monroe, Like a Rose
Best known for her tenure in Miranda Lambert's throwback trio Pistol Annies, Ashley Monroe's tart, fearless twang lights up these sharp tales of tragedy, marital negotiation, room-spinning intoxication and heartbreak. [Rob Harvilla]

Best Super-Sexy Hipster-Techno Jams Ideal for Staging Your Own Version of the Dance Scene from Silver Linings Playbook:

Bajofondo, Presente
Making tango sexier is a daunting task, but Bajofondo have made a career out of it. Presente finds the hipster crew opening up the lounge chic and hip-hop cool of previous releases to dalliances with jazz, rock, pop and even bhangra. (Check those rolling drums on the majestic "Patras.") [Rachel Devitt]

Best Good-Time Spring-Break Country Jams Only Slightly Less Rowdy and Lascivious Than the Spring Breakers Trailer:

Luke Bryan, Spring Break … Here to Party
Shuffling 14 songs from four digital EPs released every March from 2009 to 2012, Spring Break is all frat-and-sorority fun in the sun: Miller Lite towels with nothing beneath, "Bad to the Bone" ringtones, bouncers at a zydeco bar, drunk asses being taken home, even ice fishing (for cold ones in the cooler, duh). [Chuck Eddy]

Best Oddball, Somnolent Shut-In Indie-Pop to Help You Sleepwalk Your Way Through Your Morning Routine:

Youth Lagoon, Wondrous Bughouse
Youth Lagoon's Trevor Powers is becoming a true prince of oddball solipsistic pop. Building much upon the minimalist sounds of 2011's The Year of Hibernation, his second album dives into a chaotic world that we can only guess reflects an anxious, possibly tripping-out brain ("The devil tries to take my mind," he coolly notes on "Mute"). [Stephanie Benson]

Best Alluring, Furtive Digital-Funk Jams Presenting Trent Reznor at His Most Ominous Since That Video Where He Stalked David Bowie:

How to Destroy Angels, Welcome Oblivion
Trent Reznor, Mariqueen Maandig, Atticus Ross and Rob Sheridan sound like they're actually courting angels on their long-awaited debut album. An undercurrent of unease runs through the glitchy drum machines and gritty synth patches; the group's furtive funk skulks like a cat burglar who's just boosted Autechre's beats. [P.S.]