by Carey Murphy and Darcy Caputo & r & & r & Built To Spill & lt;a href= & quot; & amp;offerid=78941 & amp;type=3 & amp;subid=0 & amp;tmpid=1826 & amp; & quot; & You in Reverse & lt;/a & 21/2 Stars & r & Following BTS' performance at the Big Easy last October, I somehow knew this shit was going to happen. Five years in the making, one would think the new album would be a stellar revision of the band's glorious guitar aesthetic. And with the split from long-time producer Phil Ek, one would expect the band to be taking some sonic chances and opportunities. Everything, unfortunately, sounds just like one would expect. While I'm sure the die-hards won't find this a bad thing, it certainly is a boring thing. No surprises this time from Dougy Doug.

If there is a silver lining to be found, BTS reveals as much of their '60s-era rock tendencies here as anywhere previously in their catalogue. "Wherever You Go" bleeds its Neil Young influences. "Conventional Wisdom" is about as pop-perfect as extended solos get, highlighting tight guitar riffs and sneaky feedback at the verses -- all the while managing to remain consistently upbeat.

Listen once, then bury it next to Ancient Melodies. It's a sad, sad fact. -- Carey Murphy & r & & lt;a href= & quot; & amp;offerid=78941 & amp;type=3 & amp;subid=0 & amp;tmpid=1826 & amp; & quot; & DOWNLOAD: "Conventional Wisdom" & lt;/a &

& lt;a href="" & Norfolk & amp; Western & lt;/a & A Gilded Age **** & r & Norfolk & amp; Western plays an antiquated style of music. Antiquated but not outdated. No, chief songwriter Adam Selzer's songs about bygone eras couldn't be more well-timed.

With the rising popularity of 'indie-Americana' (see the Decemberists, M.Ward), it seems clear that they are poised to expand on the groundwork laid by previous releases. They've been putting out records since 1998, though A Gilded Age finds the band in a state of appropriately deserved comeuppance.

N & amp;W expand here on last year's self-released If You Were Born Overseas with grace and moxie. The fiery, reworked version of the title track couldn't have hit the nail on the head better. And the reinterpretation of "Porch Destination" as "Porch Destruction" adds new dimensions to a song already filled with wonderment.

Despite not being graced with perpetual name-dropping like some of their fellow Portlanders, Norfolk & amp; Western are as good as the genre gets. -- Darcy Caputo

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