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by Rob Harvilla

February 15, 2013

The Inbox: Foals, Bullet for My Valentine and More

by Rob Harvilla  |  February 15, 2013

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 Rhapsody's own reviews) and pair each album with the weirdest, coolest, (sometimes unintentionally) funniest stuff we can find on the Internet. This week we've got new records from Foals, Pat Matheny, Bullet for My Valentine and more. Which one most closely correlates to a video of Diddy curling? You're about to find out.

Best Infectious Pop/Hip-Hop/Reggaeton Hybrid for Grammy-Night Taylor Swift to Over-Emphatically Dance To:

Dyland y Lenny, My World 2
This duo's second album is a pitch-perfect picture of modern reggaeton: Feathery vocals shimmy around lightly lascivious rapping over Luny Tunes-helmed beats that gently swoop through a host of urban musics (hip-hop, R&B, merengue) even as they're firmly tied to dance-pop as slick and tight as Dyland y Lenny's abs -- and very little classic reggaeton riddim. [Rachel Devitt]

Best Violent, Sensitive Metalcore Anthems for Those Who Enjoy Somewhat Precocious Badassness, as Does This Cat Dressed Up as Breaking Bad:

Bullet for My Valentine, Temper Temper
Several tracks on this Welsh metalcore foursome's fourth album grab early with guitar intros, and a few make way for savory power-metal fills later ... several lyrics address mean people (especially girls), and "Saints & Sinners" damns the bad folks for eternity. [Chuck Eddy]

Best Modern Worship Music Imbued with a Certain Suaveness, Sophistication and Spiritual Aspect, as with This Video of Diddy Curling:

Jeremy Camp, Reckless
Don't let the title fool you. The album may be called Reckless, but Jeremy Camp is as solid as ever. While the songs encourage listeners to live with abandon when it comes to spiritual things, this is a well-planned collection of worship pop rock. By losing just a little of the polish found on previous releases, the emotion of tracks like "My God" is really allowed to shine through. [Wendy Lee Nentwig]

Best Visionary Jazz That Deftly Blends the Human and the Robotic, Just Like Those Dudes Who Made Their Own Real-Life Super Mario Kart Track:

Pat Metheny, The Orchestrion Project
After the innovations of Orchestrion -- in which "computer-operated acoustic instruments" were controlled from Metheny's axe -- he took his mechanized act out on the road, culminating in this double-live set … The expected rock touches are there, as are the smooth ones. But the guitarist gets a bit wild when playing Ornette Coleman's "Broadway Blues." [Seth Colter Walls]

Best Unlucky-in-Love Country Songs Delivered by An Actual Happily Married Couple, and Thus the Sweetest, Most Credible Duets Record Since the John Travolta/Olivia Newton-John Christmas Album:

Kelly Willis & Bruce Robison, Cheater's Game
Fans of singer Kelly Willis and songsmith Bruce Robison have been wishing for this matchup for years. With seven original songs and six finely tuned covers, the album is worth the wait. Sonically, the pair complement each other perfectly -- his rough, linear vocals are the yin to her sweet, lilting yang -- while giving each other room to play. [Linda Ryan]

Best Misanthropic, Too-Smart-for-Its-Own-Good Garage Rock That Might as Well Have Been Made by All the Jerky Ex-Boyfriends on Girls:

Pissed Jeans, Honeys
Clearly still misanthropic messengers of mundanity even if you can only make out snatches of complaint, these Allentown, Penn., reprobates spend most of their fourth set yanking their dirty, dirgey glop downward with basslines anchored Flipper-style deep beneath the Lehigh River. [Chuck Eddy]

Best British Dance-Rock That Actually Makes You Want to Dance, and Perhaps Even Bust Out the Harlem Shake:

Foals, Holy Fire
Since 2008 debut Antidotes, Foals seem to have gotten progressively gloomier. Or maybe they're just building on the success of "Spanish Sahara," because the softer fare outweighs the edgier cuts here, even if that's not so clear at first: Opener "Prelude" transforms into crunchy alt-rock funk, while "Inhaler" fluctuates from Rapture-like disco to Deftones' tortured metallic swirl. [S.B.]

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