& lt;span class= & quot;dropcap & quot; & H & lt;/span & alf quirkily crafted up-tempo numbers and half quiet, spare, roughly produced ballads, this is an uneven disc. The fourth full-length from the Canadian chanteuse and former sometimes member of Broken Social Scene crackles on the stark but danceable "My Moon, My Man" and goes all kiddy-giddy on "One Two Three Four." (Find the videos for both on YouTube -- they're incredible.) The Laura Veirs-esque "Past in Present," with its hand claps and bouncy beat, digs its hooks in almost as deep as her last record's "Mushaboom" (as if that were possible). But though she turns out moments of goose-bump-inducing beauty in a couple of the ballads (especially "Intuition," which surprises with a last-minute sing-along), the rest of the slow stuff lacks her usual cunning. Uncheck those tunes on your playlist and put the thing on repeat. You'll think you've died and gone to Toronto. -- JOEL SMITH
DOWNLOAD: "Past in Present"
Gutterfly The Original Soundtrack
& lt;span class= & quot;dropcap & quot; & L & lt;/span & ifesavas tore up the stage of Spokane's B-Side in 2003 supporting their debut, Spirit in Stone. Then, emcee Vursatyl and emcee/producer Jumbo were unknown Portlanders with powerfully lucid raps and booming beats: true-school, but not derivative. Definitely artists to watch.
Since then, Lifesavas' career trajectory has involved unusual feats, like stealing the PDX installment of the Burn to Shine DVD series (intimate performances in about-to-be-burned-down houses) as well as bravely (and none too shabbily) covering Elliott Smith's "Happiness" on a tribute album.
On Gutterfly, Vursatyl is Bumpy Johnson, Jumbo is Sleepy Floyd, and DJ Shines is Jimmy Slimwater, as Lifesavas come out of nowhere with a full-on soundtrack to a blaxploitation flick that never existed. The production is all-star, and the superb guest shots range from funk god George Clinton to 'what ever happened to?' heroes of neo-jive, Camp Lo. Gutterfly is a solid success, way more innovative and involved than anybody was expecting. --ANDREW MATSON