LawnChair Generals / Various Around the Block

LawnChair Generals are like the armchair quarterbacks of minimal break-like house producers. Instead of knowing better than Wade Phillips, Bill Cowher or Randy Moss, and not being afraid to say so, it’s as if they think they can do better than the likes of Daft Punk, Danger Mouse or Mark Farina. And since sometimes they can, they’re aiming to show how. They spend the majority of Around the Block’s first half basking in the justified runaway success of opening single "One Thing.” Not much blows you away in an instance but their excellence maintains itself in the playful, eclectic and intricate soundscapes that arouse attention to, and in one case from, each aforementioned superstar via both mixes and original cuts. "The Truth” (plundering Stardust), "Allright” and DJ Hal’s "Don’t Give It Up” form a pretty exquisite triad to propel the record into a soft denouement. They aren’t quite champions but at least they’re drafted. (Independent)