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Five Albums You Should Be Listening To Right Now: Sal Cinquemani

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Five Albums You Should Be Listening To Right Now

Every two weeks, titans of the mediasphere give Nerve their music recommendations. This week: Sal Cinquemani, co-founder and music editor of Slant Magazine.

Young Galaxy, Shapeshifting

1. Young Galaxy, Shapeshifting

Young galaxies are volatile places, swallowing the ingredients needed to make stars and producing them from scratch, which is an apt metaphor for Young Galaxy's third album. The Canadian band worked with Dan Lissvik of Swedish duo Studio via Skype to concoct a collection of electronic-infused synth-pop songs, including the heavenly "We Have Everything."

Listen: We Have Everything

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PJ Harvey, Let England Shake

2. PJ Harvey, Let England Shake

Polly Jean Harvey has been in the business for almost two decades now and I don't think she's ever put out two albums that sound alike. My favorite is 1998's Is This Desire?, but her latest album could very well be a close second. The songs draw on many of her past themes and sounds, but also find her experimenting with new ones, like brass arrangements and male choirs. 

Listen: "On Battleship Hill"

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Lindstrøm & Christabelle, Real Life Is No Cool

3. Lindstrøm & Christabelle, Real Life Is No Cool

This album is from last year, and it's worth seeking out. It's a pop-funk odyssey that draws on early Massive Attack, Prince, and especially the space-disco of Giorgio Moroder. It's easily Hans-Peter Lindstrøm's most accessible work to date. The track "Lovesick" even appeared in a car commercial.

Listen: "Lovesick"

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Vanessa Daou, Zipless

4. Vanessa Daou, Zipless

We recently posted our long-awaited list of the Best Albums of the '90s, and this is one of our lesser known picks. It's a collection of jazz-house interpretations of writer Erica Jong's poems. The lyrical and musical centerpiece of the album is the entirely spoken-word "Alcestis on the Poetry Circuit," which explores women's self-imposed restraint, both literal and figurative. Also, it's got a kick-ass keyboard solo.

Listen: "Alcestis on the Poetry Circuit"

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Belly, Star

5. Belly, Star

A personal favorite of mine that didn't make our list of '90s albums is Belly's debut. Like Kurt Cobain, lead singer Tanya Donelly (who was also a co-founder of Throwing Muses and the Breeders) set out to marry pop with punk, but there's a distinctly feminine quality to the songs. It's truly a forgotten treasure from the alt-rock boom. 

Listen: "Low Red Moon"

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