The highlights from this week's Rolling Stone album reviews include The Decemberists' The King is Dead, which Will Hermes praised for its sumptuous harmonies and unfussy arrangements; a reissue of the Jayhawks' overlooked alternative country classic Tomorrow the Green Grass; and the second album by Rolling Stone Band of the Week Smith Westerns, which Jon Dolan describes as "an overpowering blast of glam-rocking gorgeousness."
On the singles front, Rob Sheffield loved the new Britney Spears hit "Hold It Against Me," but Jody Rosen was not very impressed by Kanye West and Jay-Z's "chest-thumping" on "H.A.M.," the first track from their upcoming record Watch the Throne.
The Decemberists - The King is Dead (stream full album)
The Jayhawks - Tomorrow the Green Grass: Legacy Edition (Reissue) (stream two songs)
Gregg Allman - Low Country Blues (stream full album)
Smith Westerns - Dye it Blonde (stream full album)
Braids - Native Speaker (stream one song)
White Lies - Ritual (stream live performance of one song)
Tennis - Cape Dory (stream two songs)
Timbaland and Missy Elliott "Take Ur Clothes Off" (stream)
Lykke Li "Get Some (Remix by Beck)" (stream)
Drive-By Truckers "Used to Be a Cop" (stream)
Stevie Nicks "Secret Love" (stream)