Sleep – Dopesmoker (reissue)
    Even though I have the first two iterations of Dopesmoker (Jerusalem and Dopesmoker), I am (quite figuratively) dying to hear this one– it’s remastered, there’s Arik Roper’s new stoner-via-Dune esque cover, there’s crazy anecdotes about the recording of the album, e.g.: Pike stated that the “song was getting slower and slower and then it got weird. We started tripping out and second guessing ourselves.” Recording the album was difficult. Pike recalled that “there was so much to memorize for that album, and we had to do it in like three different sections because a reel-to-reel only holds 22 minutes. It was really cool, but it was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done in in my life.” SLEEP were in the studio for one month then went home to rehearse and returned for another month. Pike noted that they ended up with two or three different versions of the song. Read the full review on Ripple Music

    Damon Albarn – Dr Dee
    There’s nothing down-to-earth or gritty about Albarn’s Dr Dee, a new opera based on the infamous 16th-century alchemist John Dee. Albarn composed Dr Dee with stage director Rufus Norris, and graphic novelist Alan Moore was originally tapped to write the libretto. When Moore dropped out, Albarn helped pick up the slack. It isn’t Albarn’s first dalliance with the stage as an adult; recently he’s contributed to the productions of Monkey: Journey To The West and It Felt Like A Kiss, not to mention Manchester Opera House’s 2006 recreation of Gorillaz’s Demon Days album. But Albarn’s involvement in Dr Dee is much more front and center. His name is at the top of the opera’s companion album, which hasn’t happened since his 2003 solo debut, Democrazy. And that was just a collection of low-key demos given a limited release. Read the full review on The AV Club
    Off! selt titled

    Silversun Pickups – Neck of the woods
    Today, with “cooler” bands gravitating toward either the raw/abrasive or the bland/sleepy poles of rock’s axis, there’s very little action in the vast middle, where power and accessibility can combine with smarts and style (but often don’t, resulting in, well, butt-rock). Silversun Pickups has been digging around in that chasm for six years now, and while the band’s debut was too clearly beholden to the Pumpkins and the second album was too ambitious in its attempts to escape them, Neck of the Woods finds the band taking a much more natural approach. Read the full review on Paste