Superchunk Here's to Shutting Up

An odd album title for a band well into their second decade, but it obviously refers to volume level, not packing it in. Superchunk prove they're still hyper enough by sacrificing none of their previous intensity, thanks mostly to drummer Jim Wilbur, and the lovely cellos and Yo La Tengo-ish keyboards are just as likely to drive the rhythm as a buzzsaw guitar. Mac McCaughan's vocals have lost all their braying qualities, and this batch of texturally and dynamically diverse songs is the band's most melodic ever; "Art Class" is their poppiest moment. Lyrically, there are eerily prescient lines like "Airplanes are heavy/ships deserve to sink" and "Plane crash footage on TV/ I know that could be me." Easily their best album in at least five years, one that could convert legions of new fans to the second phase of their career. (Merge)