Memory Man

It would be easy to accuse Aqualung of capitalizing on the gigantic international market for sensitive arena rock created by Coldplay. But the new album Memory Man makes it all OK. Often juxtaposing sparse, sophisticated melody with robust, distorted guitar work, this album delivers an overall experience that had me wishing I’d spent more of my childhood practicing the piano than whacking my sister with a sled. Tracks like “Lake” and “Glimmer” trickle out from your speakers like unhurried backwoods streams, and Matt Hales’ prodigious vocals relax into their flow like drifting leaves. The effect is shockingly pretty—and maybe even legitimately therapeutic. Buy this one, don’t burn it. These guys deserve your money.