The Magic Magicians, Girls (Suicide Squeeze): John Atkins, whose day job is singing in 764-Hero, has one of those pure pop voices dug by power-pop fans since the beginning of time (or since the Beatles recorded Beatles VI, anyway). Here Atkins collaborates with Joe Plummer (who normally handles drums for Black Heart Procession), and the result is a delightful pop-rock album, self-consciously in the tradition of Big Star (Third/Sister Lovers), but with more noise and Nirvana-esque edge. Guests include Sleater-Kinney's Janet Weiss, Murder City Devils' Coady Willis, 764-Hero's Polly Johnson, and Mike Johnson. Highlights include the hooky "RSVP," which might remind you of the Beatles (as will the chorus of "Bored Ticket Taker"); the haunting, conversational "Time Zones Be Damned"; and the stunning album opener, "I'm On Your Side," with its huge sound and quirky "Through the Looking Glass" take on Spector's Wall of Sound. — Michael Goldberg

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