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PETER PER­RETT How the West Was Won ★★★★ Domino

One of rock mu­sic’s true sur­vivors, Peter Per­rett’s for­mer fond­ness for drugs makes Keith Richards look like the Arch­bishop of Can­ter­bury. Un­til re­cently, the erst­while lead singer of one of the UK’s most sig­nif­i­cant post-punk bands, The Only Ones, was wast­ing away, his sys­tem de­pleted by de­pen­den­cies of one kind or an­other. Lo and be­hold, then, the ar­rival of the much­be­lated de­but solo al­bum from 65-year-old Per­rett, who – clearly seiz­ing the mo­ment with both hands – de­liv­ers the most gor­geous col­lec­tion of songs you’ll hear this or any month. The Only Ones’ tem­plate hasn’t been rad­i­cally al­tered: Vel­vet Un­der­ground-in­flu­enced dis­so­nant pop mu­sic is topped with a uniquely frag­ile voice, rapid streams of lyri­cal dex­ter­ity, and spi­dery gui­tar lines that would make Tele­vi­sion’s Tom Ver­laine ap­prove. domi­ TONY CLAY­TON-LEA

BEACH HOUSE B-sides and Rar­i­ties ★★★★ Bella Union

Beach House al­bums are bod­ies of work, rather than groups of songs with a few cur­sory tracks thrown in to buf­fer the sin­gles. The Baltimore duo’s six al­bums have all been the­mat­i­cally and son­i­cally har­mo­nious – which makes col­lec­tions like this nec­es­sary. Th­ese are the songs that have not “fit” on stu­dio al­bums, dat­ing as far back as the scratchy war­ble of 2005’s Rain in

Num­bers. Although there is no thread ty­ing them to­gether, the woozy swathe of sound on Baby, the sun-dap­pled or­gan of

Char­iot and the min­i­mal­ist White Moon find an al­liance thanks to Vic­to­ria Le­grand’s swoon­some voice. There are also al­ter­nate ver­sions of Nor­way and 10 Mile

Stereo that don’t quite trump the orig­i­nals, but over­all this b-sides col­lec­tion is bet­ter than most bands’ a-games. beach­house­bal­ti­ LAU­REN MUR­PHY

VAR­I­OUS Space, En­ergy & Light ★★★★ Soul Jazz

Meet the space ex­plor­ers who never quite got off the ground.

Space, En­ergy & Light is a com­pen­dium of elec­tronic mu­sic pioneers, synth sci­en­tists and new age dream­ers who cre­ateed fu­tur­is­tic sound­scapes in­spired by space. Pre­vi­ous re­leases like the brace of “Mi­cr­co­cosm” com­pi­la­tions have cov­ered sim­i­lar ground, but Space, En­ergy & Light goes be­yond the cos­mic, am­bi­ent, new age, chill-out, prog con­fines with strong artis­tic state­ments from peo­ple like Mother Mal­lard’s Por­ta­ble Mas­ter­piece Com­pany, the en­sem­ble cre­ated by David Bor­den with the in­put of synth guru Bob Moog, and musique con­crète com­poser Tod Dock­stader, as well as glo­ri­ously out-there vi­sion­ary work from Steven Halpern and Stratis. Giant steps all round. soul­jaz­ JIM CAR­ROLL

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