* * * Turin Brakes, "The Optimist," Astralwerks. Turin Brakes is distinguished by the impossibly vulnerable vocals of Ollie Knights and the slide guitar of Gale Paridjanian, which at times sounds folksy in a Jimmy Page sort of way. In fact, moments such as the smoky "Future Boy" and the thorny solo in "The Door" suggest that this London duo is well-acquainted with "Led Zeppelin III." Compiling previously released EPs with a handful of new numbers, "The Optimist" is a subtle debut that works its mystique in assured, old-fashioned style, making it ideal for introspective, late-night listening.
Albums are rated on a scale of one star (poor), two stars (fair), three stars (good) and four stars (excellent). The albums are already released unless otherwise noted.