Cole Velders of St. Paul:
1 Ball Park Music, “Pariah.” A psychedelic roller coaster, this gripping track off the band’s new album “Every Night the Same Dream” is a mind-numbing mix of the Beatles, Genesis and Pink Floyd that comes together beautifully.
2 Glass Animals, “How to Be a Human Being.” Their unique wild sound complements a creatively lyrical exploration of 11 human lives inspired by stories the band heard on tour.
3 Har Mar Superstar, Minnesota Zoo. If you had ever wanted to be surrounded by middle-aged people trying to dance while a short, balding, overweight man makes suggestive hip thrusts on a stage that is directly opposite a tiger habitat, this concert would have been for you.
Jon Bream of Star Tribune:
1 André Cymone, “Black Man in America.” The Minneapolis-reared musician skillfully balances the musical and political on this potent EP, with its echoes of Bob Dylan and the Lovin’ Spoonful. He rocks Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.”
2 The Bad Plus, “The Beautiful Ones.” On the new album “It’s Hard,” the inspired jazz instrumental trio re-imagines this Prince ballad while still maintaining the pretty melody.
3 Dwight Yoakam, “Purple Rain.” His bluegrassy reading gives the Prince classic a new vibe on “Swimmin’ Pools, Movie Stars,” featuring mountain-music takes of Yoakam’s songs.