Stars vocalist and occasional Broken Social Scene contributor Amy Millan is a pop singer by trade, but a country-rock singer-songwriter at heart, and on her debut solo album, Honey From The Tombs (Arts & Crafts), she revisits some twangy ballads she wrote half a decade ago. Some (like "Baby I" and "Blue In Yr Eye") get a straightforward string-band setting, while others (like "Come Home Loaded Roadie" and "All The Miles") receive more adventurous arrangements that combine deep twang and dreamy twinkle. The latter approach works best. Millan makes a serviceable Nicolette Larson to some absent Neil Young, but she's better as a Euro-cooled diva with a jones for George Jones… B+

Septuagenarian dub-reggae godfather Lee "Scratch" Perry remains a man out of time on his latest, Panic In Babylon (Narnack), though that time is now the past instead of the future. On songs like "Rastafari" and "Purity Rock," he works with slowed-down '90s-style house-music tracks, slick but distant, and not too island-y. While "Inspector Gadget 2004" is a silly pop confection more suited to 1984, Perry made his legendary reputation on recycling, and it would be fair to argue that he keeps moving ahead because he throws nothing away… B+

The Tyde's 2003 album Twice marked Darren Rademaker's band as one of the stalwarts of the new West Coast cosmic Americana, but The Tyde's new album, Three's Co. (Rough Trade), is a bit of a step backward—it's full of chunky, underdeveloped songs that rely more on sound than craft. Still, Three's Co. contains a handful of real winners, like the woozy "The Lamest Shows," the Church-like "Too Many Kims," and the breezy album-opener "Do It Again Again," which sounds simultaneously wide-open and constrained… B

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For those who want to hear the line "I'm tired of these motherfucking snakes on this motherfucking plane" immortalized on a CD, Snakes On A Plane: The Album (New Line) has it twice, first at the beginning of the title track by emo supergroup Cobra Starship, and then in the middle of Cee-Lo Green's wiggy rap song "Ophidiophobia." Guess which one's more fun? Apart from Cee-Lo, there isn't a lot to get excited about on this soundtrack, which leans hard on the new wave of emo—the Panic! At The Disco kind, cut with post-Killers synth-boogie… C+

Most full-frontal-assault heavy metal takes a specialist's ear to distinguish, but French headbanger act Gojira varies its approach in rewarding ways on From Mars To Sirius (Prosthetic). The record has plenty of machine-gun drums, stuttering riffs, throaty shouting, and song titles like "The Heaviest Matter Of The Universe," but between the bouts of sonic violence, Gojira finds time for the spare instrumental "Unicorn" and the soft, trippy ballad "From Mars." The band is still plenty scary, but not unapproachable… B

Veteran alt-rock scenester, bedazzled.tv blogger, and all-around pop-culture junkie Spike Priggen makes music as a way of defining and expressing his eclectic taste, and on There's No Sound In Flutes! (Volaré), he celebrates simple pop songs pumped up with kitchen-sink orchestration. A lot of Priggen's songs sound as programmatic as homages can be, but he transcends his influences occasionally, like on "Little Star," a '70s AM-ballad exercise with a winning heart-on-the-sleeve lyric, and "Everyone Loves Me But You," a nasty bit of twangy power-pop. B-

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