By all accounts, "sophomore slump" doesn't appear to be in West's vocabulary (9.5 in the 'Fork...oh, snap!) and this album looks to only catapult his career even further...hopefully bringing even more attention to the oft-neglected Chicago hip-hop scene.
OK Go - Oh No (Capitol)
Chicago is representin' the major labels today! This is another sophomore release and is the follow-up to the local quartet's self-titled debut that spawned the hit, "Get Over It." Expect even more power-pop crunch this time around thanks to Swedish-bred production from Tore Johansson, who has worked with Franz Ferdinand and The Cardigans.
Death Cab for Cutie - Plans (Atlantic)
Veteran indie-popsters have...(gasp!) signed to a major label! I'm guessing they'll be shunned by a few of their hardcore fans who've followed them from their humble Barsuk beginnings, but this shouldn't affect their new core audience of O.C. fans. More importantly, now that they're labelmates with Led Zeppelin, can we now officially stop referring to Death Cab as "indie-rock??" Call them "pop" or "emo" or perhaps something new like "(i)Pod-rock" or "O.C. rock," but please, let's drop the indie.
Various Artists - Austin City Limits Festival 2004 (Rhino)
16 track live collection from last year's festival...includes The Pixies, Franz Ferdinand, Calexico, My Morning Jacket, Broken Social Scene, Shelby Lynne and the Blind Boys of Alabama.