World’s Strongest Man
It’s hard to be grandiose and intimate at the same time, but Britain’s Gaz Coombes has perfected that trick on his wonderful third solo album. The former leader of Supergrass, which excelled at fizzy rockin’ pop, he hasn’t so much changed his approach as dramatically expanded his range. While World’s Strongest Man will strike a chord with fans of Queen and David Bowie, Coombes infuses his big sounds with enough anxiety and disorientation to fill a grimy Philip K. Dick novel. From the dreamy panic of “Slow Motion Life,” to the nervous compassion in “Oxygen Mask,” to the wobbly exuberance of “In Waves,” this is a dazzling thrill ride worth taking over and over.