In Brief

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* * * Stone Gossard, “Bayleaf,” Epic. Even after the loose charm of his side band Brad, the Pearl Jam guitarist’s first foray as a frontman is a pleasant surprise, with compact alt-rock songs that are confident yet casual and personal without seeming self-indulgent. Producer Pete Droge and Green Apple Quick Step’s Ty Willman (who sings lead on three songs) add colorful accents and pop focus, but Gossard--readily shedding the Pearl Jam mystique--shines through as an invitingly thoughtful artist.


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.