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CD Reviews -- G.O.O.D. Music: 'Cruel Summer,' more

Cruel Summer

Cruel Summer Credit: G.O.O.D Music: 'Cruel Summer"

'Cruel Summer'
2.5 stars

After reactivating his G.O.O.D. Friday single series this summer (highlighted by the slickly repetitive, Lambo-loving "Mercy"), Kanye West and his assorted acolytes (Big Sean, Chief Keef, Pusha T, 2 Chainz, et al.) assemble for an all-star compilation that can't help but feel like setting off an entire hoard of fireworks at once: there are going to be some duds (OK, several) amid the "oohs" and "ahhs." The latter come mostly from predictable sources: Jay-Z shakes off all comers on the darkly pulsing "Clique," John Legend oozes sleazy-chic on "Bliss," and the man himself goes off on "New God Flow," with an old-head afterword by Ghostface Killah, whose original Wu-Tang Clan exploits set the standard for this "Avengers"-style rap team-up. Also, for those out there who care, Ma$e is still a mumbler.

'Kill My Blues'
3 stars

For those who can't get enough of the taut, nervy guitar-driven sound of Sleater-Kinney, it seems like the band breaking up was the best thing that could have happened. Carrie Brownstein and Janet Weiss have found new life in Wild Flag, and now Corin Tucker has returned with her namesake band for a rock-solid second album that doles out thrills on a minute-by-minute basis. From the politically minded opener "Groundhog Day" to the disco-fried punk of the awesomely catchy "Neskowin," the slashing, yowling Tucker is a blown-open fireplug of vital rock force that simply won't be denied.

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