Taio Cruz, "Rokstarr"

3.5

On his second album, "Rokstarr," British pop-soul artist Taio Cruz croons about the highs and lows of love over a wide variety of electronic-influenced beats. Cruz's vocal delivery is most impressive on the single "Dirty Picture" (featuring Ke$ha and Fabolous), where over a synth-heavy backbeat he justifies his need for raunchy photos from his significant other. Other electronic subgenres also appear on the set, including the house track "Come On Girl" (featuring Luciana), which finds Cruz singing over a spastic synthesizer and '80s-sounding keyboard. But fear not, techno haters: Low-key ballads "I Can Be" and slow jam "I'll Never Love Again" showcase the artist's more emotional side. And Cruz is most ecstatic on the dance track "Higher," which relies only on a simple bass riff, as he belts, "This groove has got me way over the sun." --Melanie Bertoldi