The 10 Best Things Right Now: 70s Folk, Memphis Soul and Indie Rock Goes Broadway 

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Archers of Loaf—Vee Vee Reissue
See, my big secret from last year, back when Merge reissued Archers of Loaf's landmark debut, Icky Mettle, was that I don't actually listen to that record very much and I never really have. I've always preferred their second album, Vee Vee, which is being reissued by Merge on February 21st, along with 16 bonus tracks and new liner notes by Magnet editor Eric Miller (Icky Mettle got Christgau… eek). It's a more fully-formed version of Mettle—the Crooked Rain to Pavement's Slanted and Enchanted, basically. The melodies shine more proudly, but then so does everything else: drums, bass and vocals engage in an album-length fight for your attention, and there's not a single loser among them. (Also, the sound of the match being lit at the beginning of "Let the Loser Melt" is one of my favorite moments on any album ever.)

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