Greg Stieber

Album reviews: Kanye West, Amazing Twin, Nicki Minaj, Susan Boyle

Kanye West “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy” (Roc-A-Fella) Kanye West may be a magnet for controversy, but the same self-absorbed attitude that gets him into trouble serves as a key component on his latest tour de force, “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.” With “Fantasy,” West creates a star-heavy album with guest spots from Jay-Z, Raekwon and RZA.

Album reviews: Weezer, Viva La Elvis, Cee-Lo Green

Weezer, "Pinkerton: Deluxe Edition" (DGC) Weezer seems to take pleasure in messing with its fans — especially when the band has our full attention, as it has in recent months with constant touring, a horrendous new album ("Hurley"), an odds-and-ends collection ("Death to False Metal") and the two-disc reissue of its 1996 classic, "Pinkerton." But why is the band giving the deluxe treatment to an album that frontman Rivers Cuomo once called "hideous"?

Album reviews: Of Montreal, Eric Clapton, Bill Hicks, Ben Folds and Nick Hornby, Pete Yorn

Of Montreal, "False Priest" (Polyvinyl) It's easy to argue that Athens, Ga., indie band Of Montreal has been on a slow decline since the back-to-back masterpieces of 2005's "Sunlandic Twins" and 2007's "Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?" The former found head songwriter/resident nutjob Kevin Barnes inching away from his Brian Wilson obsessions in favor of a more insular, electronic approach to indie pop, while "Fauna" laid bare Barnes' self-loathing and deft way with melodies between driving beats and appealingly twisted synthesizers.

CD reviews: M.I.A., School of Seven Bells, the Roots, Jaill

M.I.A., “MAYA” (Interscope) On her third and boldest record, English/ Sri Lankan rapper M.I.A. has created the most challenging music of her career. Given her ubiquitous presence in gossip blogs, her new son and a public battle with The New York Times (about alleged inaccuracies in a large feature the NYT Magazine wrote on her in late May), it’s no surprise that “MAYA” is her most polarizing effort.