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Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Rainbow Body (Telarc) -- Spano conducts music by American composers. (MG)

Molly Bancroft, Get Closer (Rey-Ban) -- A bold and successful new direction for the folk and pop veteran. (LS)

Richard Bicknell, Baby Lightning (self-release) -- Americana singer/songwriter bounces back from cancer with his most revealing set. (RS)

Binkis Recs! The Reign Begins (Day By Day) -- Indie hip-hop trio interlaces melodic thump with lyrics as visual as a graffiti flick. (TW)

Blue Velvets, Concern (self-release) -- The promise of '70s supergroup Rockpile finally delivered with the brash bashing of Mark Harper and company. (LS)

Cat Power, You Are Free (Matador) -- Chan Marshall and some famous friends offer her most transparent, dynamic release yet. (RS)

The Close, It's a Secret to Everybody (Moodswing) -- Nine ethereal splashes of precise indie rock. More please. (NS)

Delta Moon, Live (self-release) -- Live-in-studio set captures the twin slide-guitar blues-rockers on terrific originals, covers. (HH)

Richard Devine, Asect: Dsect (Schematic) -- A digital nightmare that clicks, cuts and crunches with cold precision and sinister intentions. (CR)

Drive-By Truckers, Decoration Day (New West) -- Dark chronicles of adult pain and regret, rendered with Faulkneresque fuzztone. (GN)

Heroes Severum, Wonderful Educated Bear (Two Sheds) -- Post-punk outfit's debut bursts with tension and a singular vocal prowess. (CR)

Donna Hopkins, Free To Go (self-release) -- A swampy debut of gutsy, mid-tempo rockers played with conviction and confidence. (HH)

Chip Houston, Chasing the Dark (self-release) -- Singer/songwriter folk minus the clichés and delivered with the heart of a rocker. (LS)

Je Suis France, Fantastic Area (Orange Twin) -- JSF go innertubing down the rolling delta where garage, psychedelia and twee meet. (NS)

Killer Mike, Monster (Aquemini/Columbia) -- Brawny raps could beat listeners into submission, but nifty production ensures they don't have to. (DP)

The Late B.P. Helium, Kumquat Mae (Orange Twin) -- Elf Power and Of Montreal refugee demonstrates that Orange Twin can still sate our neo-psych pop fix. (NS)

Ludacris, Chicken & Beer (Def Jam South) -- Bright production and hits like "Stand Up" and "Splash Waterfalls" make this his best yet. (RRP)

Bill Mallonee, Perfumed Letter (Paste) -- Athens' most consistently inspired poet and singer/songwriter sheds his Vigilantes of Love guise. (HH)

Michelle Malone, Stompin' Ground (Daemon) -- Her toughest album in years finds her connecting with Southern rock and Stonesy roots. (HH)

Mars ILL, Backbreakanomics (Gotee) -- Hip-hop duo weaves head-nodding grooves, bristling beats with dexterous Christianity-tinged lyrics. (TW)

No River City, This Is Our North Dakota (self-release) -- Americana duo delivers a dynamic debut, with great hooks and insightful tales. (JK)

OutKast, Speakerboxxx/The Love Below (Arista) -- Dre spawns the catchiest single in a decade, while Big Boi makes hip-hop's record of the year. (DP)

Paper Lions, The Symptom and the Sick (Kindercore) -- Dark, jagged post-punk that could be filthier, but gets the point across. (NS)

Glenn Phillips, Angel Walks (Gaff) -- A terse summary of the sinewy instrumental guitarist's eclectic influences. (HH)

Prefuse 73, One Word Extinguisher (Warp) -- Moved to Barcelona, but we'd be foolish not to claim this mash-up of fractured beats and ominous, soulful grooves. (DP)

Psyche Origami, Is Ellipsis (Arc the Finger Records) -- With one M.C. balancing two DJs, it's a maze of concept-driven hip-hop. (CR)

P'Taah, Staring At the Sun (Ubiquity) -- The compound-fractured beats pair mad science and sensuality, digital and demure. (MH)

The Shut-Ups, It Hurts to be Seen (Imperial Fuzz) -- Clever and well-crafted new-wave pop that knows how geeky it is and doesn't care. (RS)

Kitty Snyder My Trips to the Oddities (Pitch-A-Tent) -- Hushed, confessional musings from one of the region's best singer/songwriters. (LS)

Sonoramic Commando, Happy Motoring! (self-release) -- O Brother-style retro, but with forward-looking vision. (GN)

Summer Hymns, Clemency (Misra) -- Zach Gresham tends to meander and mull on his autumnal pop musings. We wish our ramblings were this sweet. (NS)

Bubba Sparxxx, Deliverance (Interscope) -- A New South collision of jacked-up beats, heady rhymes and back-country charms. (DP)

Swimming Pool Q's, Royal Academy of Reality (Bar None) -- A majestic art-rock excursion that deftly balances the art and the rock. (GN)

Thamyris, A City Called Heaven (ACA Digital) -- Music of African-American composers, including local Alvin Singleton. (MG)

The Tony Rich Project, Resurrected (Compendia) -- Returning in fine funky form, with lyrics far smarter than his smooth R&B contemporaries. (HH)

Twittering Machine, Breakfast by the Dunes (self-released) -- Part Berlin cabaret, part East Atlanta cool, unfolding with timeless grace. (CR)

Untied States, Bird of the Blood Feather (self-release) -- Full on atonal assault built around real song structure. And now they have a drummer. Shit, it's on. (NS)

The Woggles, Ragged But Right (Telstar) -- Soaked in honest sweat and gasoline, garage-rock at its most defiant, powerful and real.(GN)

Everett Young, The Ground -- Delightfully low-key effort combining catchy '80s keyboards with modern recording techniques. (LS)

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