April 26, 2005

Alternative/Indie Rock

Over a decade after the release of their beloved debut, the Seattle emo-punks return this month with their sophomore LP. Revisiting Phantoms 12 years later, it's impressive how much the songs hold up. For fans of the genre, this is essential listening and one of the seminal releases from that era. Blast off with "In Too Far," "Breathless," "Over You," and "Permanent." Yearning and earnestness rarely rock this hard.

- Neil Z. Yeung

Parade [Music from the Motion Picture Under the Cherry Moon]

Prince & the Revolution / Prince

Parade [Music from the Motion Picture Under the Cherry Moon]

May 19, 1986

Contemporary R&B

Originally conceived as a double album, Parade has the sprawling feel of a double record, even if it clocks in around 45 minutes. Prince & the Revolution shift musical moods and textures from song to song, and they're determined not to play it safe, even on the hard funk of "Girls and Boys" and "Mountains," as well as the stunning "Kiss," which hits hard with just a dry guitar, keyboard, drum machine, and layered vocals. All of the group's musical adventures do nothing to undercut the melodicism of the record, and the amount of ground they cover in 12 songs is truly remarkable.

- Stephen Thomas Erlewine