The Felice Brothers Celebration, Florida

All the people who fell in love with the Felice Brothers' goodtime, roots-y, folky tunes are going to be very confused by Celebration, Florida. Instead of serving up more of the same, they've decided to head into weird, concept album territory and, even more surprisingly, it works really well. Celebration is actually a new community built by Disney in Florida as an attempt to create the kind of perfect place for families to live that inevitably show up in the studio's output, but as the songs on the album suggest, there's usually something sinister lurking below the surface. The most obvious difference between this and their earlier output is the eclectic nature of the music, which leaves no room for lazy Basement Tapes-era Dylan comparisons. Instead, they delve into electronica with unexpected confidence, fusing it with their more typical music to produce a record that nobody predicted. This is a wonderfully bleak and innovative release that refuses to take easy options. (Fat Possum)