What's hot and what's not in this week's new releases.

By Polly Weeks.

Stephen Marley - Revelation Pt 1: The Root Of Life.

The spirit of Bob Marley & The Wailers has little chance of waning as the legend's legacy lives on in the sentiments and musical direction of his sons Ziggy, Damian 'Jr Gong' and 39-year-old artist and producer Stephen Marley. Following on from his last album, Mind Control - the contemporary, slick release of 2007, Stephen's latest release is a return to a classic roots, rock and reggae sound and a celebration of Rastafarianism. Keeping it in the family, guest vocalist Damian 'Jr Gong' Marley along with Spragga Benz and Buju Banton add ragga and dancehall elements, while Ziggy Marley, Wale and the cast of the African stage show FELA! provide more soulful support. Stephen demonstrates the romantic side of reggae on love songs She Knows How and Pale Moonlight. With a rasping wail reminiscent of his father, political expression and real roots, Stephen revives the original reggae sound with this solid album.

Rating: 8/10 (Review by Tori Mayo) Thurston Moore - Demolished Thoughts Thurston Moore may not be a household name, but his band Sonic Youth helped define a generation of shoegazing, psychedelic grunge at their peak in the late Eighties and early Nineties. Sonic Youth fans looking for deranged distorted guitars, muddy vocals and eerie feedback might be disappointed with this sweet, sparkling solo acoustic record upon first listen, but should force themselves to return. Demolished Thoughts, produced by musical shape-shifter Beck, is drenched in strings and awash with trippy California-dreaming melodies, topped with Moore's sleepy but spellbinding tone. Beck brings a little studio magic as well, with this record most like the songwriter's Dylan-influenced album Sea Change. The core genre may differ to Sonic Youth's work, but the songwriting skill, particularly on stand-out tracks Benediction and Orchard Street, is the same - simply wonderful.

Rating: 8/10 (Review by Jamie Grierson) The Computers - This Is The Computers Serving up a raucous half hour of rock 'n' roll blended with punk-rock, this debut from the Exeter-based band shows off a unique style which will appeal to the group's strong fanbase. The group acquired their following after releasing several successful EPs and with riffs galore and growling vocals the album continues where the EPs left off with tracks Yeah Yeah Yeah But..., Where Do I Fit In? and Rhythm Revue all highlights. There are a couple of tracks which you may find yourself skipping over (Cinco De Mayo and The Queen In 3D being two which aren't quite up to the standard of the other tunes), yet with the majority of songs showing a real promise, this makes for an exciting debut.

Rating: 7/10 (Review by Liam Evans) Annakin - Icarus Heart Annakin is already a big star in her home country but the Swiss singer anchors her third album, Icarus Heart, by selecting a cover version in order to try to make the big breakthrough in the United Kingdom. She opts for The Pet Shop Boys' It's a Sin and in the main sticks to the same template as the original, which makes it a somewhat strange choice as she copiously fails to give the song any fresh impetus. Her own compositions fare better with the likes of The Trooper and Tin God expertly produced, but trip-hop does sound somewhat dated these days.

Rating: 6/10 (Review by Kim Mayo) Michael Franti And Spearhead - The Sound Of Sunshine Michael Franti And Spearhead's seventh album comes heavily laced with a Caribbean influence and you may be forgiven for thinking you have heard it all before. Although the buoyant tunes lilt breezily into one another, there isn't one song that could compete against much-loved tracks from previous albums such as Say Hey (I Love You). The songs were written as Michael Franti recovered from an operation, with a love for life, family and friends on his mind, and even though sun-kissed shores and cheery guitars prevail, the album sounds much like Jack Johnson from a few years ago.

Rating: 5/10 (Review by Hannah Bewley) Johann Johannsson - The Miners' Hymns The Miners' Hymns is a soundtrack to Bill Morrison's film of the same name, an exploration of the mining communities of north-east England. The record combines the brass music tradition of the region with Johannsson's experience as a contemporary classical composer and his interest in avant-garde electronica. Dark, vast soundscapes rise from an essentially minimal work, with tones subtly building to dramatic effect. Hopeful and majestic, it creates a mood that takes you on a journey with the miners, you feel their hardships and sense their resilient spirit. Emotionally moving, it captures the essence of its subject matter as well as standing alone as a piece of music in its own right.

Rating: 7/10 (Review by Nathania Hartley)